BP Upstream Presentation Receives Mixed Response

BP's upstream investor day Monday received a mixed, but generally upbeat response from oil sector analysts who follow the company.

At the London presentation, BP told those present that it plans to raise capital spending to between $24 billion and $27 billion a year for the 2014-to-2020 period from $19.1 billion last year. The proportion allocated to its upstream activities will rise to around 80 percent of total capital spending in 2014 from around 70 percent in 2011.

According to a research note Tuesday from Canada's Canaccord Genuity, the investor day added little in the way of immediate news but the detail should help underpin confidence in the recovery of the company's exploration and production portfolio.

Canaccord noted that BP has "transformed its exploration opportunity set", and this looks like it could be much more of a meaningful driver of value accretion than in the past. Meanwhile, the investment bank said that it expects to hear more from Rosneft about the synergy upside from the TNK-BP deal in coming months, but also from BP about other alliances with Rosneft.

Meanwhile, analysts at New York-based investment bank Jefferies said that it expected production from BP to remain flat during 2013 but that it (like Canaccord) sees production growth returning from 2014 onwards – with the firm's focus clearly on its high-margin areas of Angola, Azerbaijan, the US Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea.

"Post-Macondo it is evident that BP is evolving into a simpler and more oil-focused entity," Jefferies said in a "flash note" on the company.



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