Following the massive fallout from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill, BP is charting a comeback and re-entering the conversation with other super-major oil producers like Exxon. In the second quarter, BP posted a $2.8 billion profit, which exceeded analyst expectations and is about four times higher than the same period last year. For BP, this is standout performance in a quarter where Exxon disappointed.
BP said its oil-and-gas production was 3.6 million barrels per day of oil-equivalent, and the company has started projects in Azerbaijan, Russia and Egypt. The CFO of BP, Brian Gilvary, indicated that the company has already paid 80% of this year's planned settlement payments related to the Gulf of Mexico tragedy, which indicates that profitability may not be inhibited by payouts in the second half of the year (assuming there's not another tragedy and lawsuit). CEO Bob Dudley said that looking forward, the company is planning for oil prices in the $50–$65 per barrel range, which is conservative by today's prices -- crude is trading around $70 a barrel.