LONDON (AP) -- British oil company BP says fourth-quarter earnings plunged because of sharp declines in oil prices.
The company reported Tuesday that fourth-quarter underlying replacement cost profit fell 91 percent from the same quarter a year earlier to $196 million. The figures were reported using an oil industry accounting standard that takes into account fluctuations in the price of oil and excludes non-operating items.
Oil companies are slashing jobs and delaying investments as crude prices plummet. Brent crude, the benchmark for North Sea oil, fell 34 percent last year and hit a 12-year low of $27.10 a barrel in January. Brent traded at $34.13 on Monday and traded over $100 a barrel as recently as September 2014.
BP says its net loss narrowed to $3.3 billion from $4.4 billion a year earlier.