BP’s (BP) CEO Bob Dudley on Q2 2014 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

Source: Seeking Alpha

 

BP P.L.C. (NYSE:BP)

Q2 2014 Earnings Conference Call

July 29, 2014 9:00 am ET

Executives

Bob Dudley – Group Chief Executive Officer

Brian Gilvary – Group Chief Financial Officer

Jessica Mitchell – Head of Global Investor Relations

Analysts

Oswald Clint – Sanford Bernstein

Doug Terreson – ISI

Michele della Vigna – Goldman Sachs

Blake Fernandez – Howard Weil

Jon Rigby – UBS

Iain Armstrong – Brewin Dolphin

Guy Baber – Simmons & Co.

Theepan Jothilingam – Nomura

Anish Kapadia – Tudor Pickering Holt

Alastair Syme – Citibank

Lydia Rainforth – Bar Cap

Stephen Simko – Morningstar

Thomas Adolf – Credit Suisse

Bertrand Hodee – Raymond James

Gordon Gray – HSBC

Irene Himona – SocGen

Martijn Rats – Morgan Stanley

Chris Coupland – Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Fred Lucas – JPMorgan

Lucas Herrmann – Deutsche Bank

Richard Griffith – Canaccord Genuity

Neill Morton – Investec

Operator

Welcome to the BP presentation to the financial community webcast and conference call. I now hand over to Jessica Mitchell, Head of Investor Relations.

Jessica Mitchell – Head of Global Investor Relations

Hello and welcome. This is BP’s Second Quarter 2014 Results webcast and conference call. I’m Jess Mitchell, BP’s Head of Investor Relations, and I’m here with our Group Chief Executive, Bob Dudley; and our Chief Financial Officer, Brian Gilvary.

Before we start, I need to draw your attention to our cautionary statement. During today’s presentation, we will make forward-looking statements that refer to our estimates, plans and expectations. Actual results and outcomes could differ materially due to factors that we note on this slide and in our U.K. and SEC filings. Please refer to our annual report, stock exchange announcement and SEC filings for more details. These documents are available on our website.

Thank you, and now, over to Bob.

Bob Dudley – Group Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Jess. Hello everyone and wherever you are in the world, I’d like to thank you for joining us today. It’s been another active and, I think, a successful quarter at BP. We continue to move with momentum towards our key goals, not least our commitment to delivering the 10-point plan we first laid out to you in 2011. The demonstration of this is in the stronger underlying earnings and operating cash flow you are seeing in our results today compared to a year ago. We continue to ramp up the new major projects that drive delivery of the $30 billion to $31 billion of operating cash flow planned for this year, so we remain confident of achieving this goal. At the same time, we are firmly focused on safe, reliable and increasing efficient operations.

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Earlier this year, we also set out our longer term proposition covering the period out to 2018. As you will recall, we said that we intend to grow sustainable free cash flow through a combination of material growth and operating cash flow and capital discipline with the intention of growing distributions to shareholders. Today you will also see the consistent progress towards the milestones that support the delivery of this plan.

Turning to today’s agenda, I will start off with the headlines for the group in the first half and then Brian will take us through the results for the second quarter along with a reminder of our financial framework and guidance. I will then give a brief update on the ongoing legal proceedings in the U.S. before a note on Rosneft and a look in more detail at the first half highlights from our upstream and downstream businesses. Finally, there will be time at the end for questions.

Let me start with an overview of progress in the first half of 2014, beginning with the portfolio. Having completed the $38 billion divestment program in 2013, we announced a further $10 billion of divestments by the end of 2015 and we have now agreed $3.4 billion of this $10 billion program and continue to look at other ways of actively managing our portfolio to generate value.

You saw this in the announcement we made in March regarding the separation of our U.S. Lower 48 business, and we have already made a start on defining an operating model for the new business and are busy transitioning to a new streamlined organizational structure. We have also signed a lease on new office premises in Houston for the Lower 48 business.

In the upstream, we have participated in the completion of 10 exploration wells this year with two significant discoveries, one at Orca in Angola and the other at Notus in Egypt. Five new upstream major projects have come online it the first half of the year, all in key regions for us. At the same time, we have a number of big projects ramping up, helping to drive operating cash flow growth in 2014 and beyond. We also continue to demonstrate quality in our operations as seen through our increased levels of plant reliability.

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In the downstream, the modernized Whiting refinery is up and running heavy crude, and we have continued to focus the portfolio on advantage assets and high-quality products in growth markets. BP has also signed some important deals in the second quarter, notably a heads of agreement with CNOOC, the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation, for a 20-year LNG supply contract, so progress is visible and all of this supports our longer-term commitment to growing distributions.

In April, we announced an 8.3% year-on-year increase in the quarterly dividend, demonstrating our confidence to keep this momentum through the remainder of the year and beyond. We have also, as promised, bought back $8 billion worth of our own shares since the start of 2013, completing the buybacks associated with the proceeds from the sale of our interest in TNK-BP. The buyback program will continue, as Brian will come to later, supported by the current program of divestments.

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