BP kicked off the results season for top global oil firms on Tuesday with forecast-beating profits and a dose of what the industry's investors want—a dividend hike, plans for asset sales, and a promise to keep a lid on spending.
The world No. 5 among investor-controlled oil and gas groups worldwide scaled back its guidance on capital spending next year to $24 billion to $25 billion compared with previous guidance of $24-$27 billion for the years up to 2020.
BP also raised its quarterly dividend by 5.6 percent to 9.5 cents a share and said it would sell $10 billion of assets over the next two years, returning most of the proceeds to shareholders - a higher rate of disposals than previously promised under a program aimed at jettisoning $2 to $3 billion dollars worth of assets per year until 2020.
—Shareholders throughout the sector have been worried that rising costs will allow spending to balloon, crimping cash flow should oil prices drop, and reducing the industry's ability to offer them returns. They want spending controlled and spare cash siphoned back into their pockets.