Stocks closed sharply lower as investors found themselves confronted by two uncomfortable prospects: an end to interest rate cuts and a slowing economy.
The U.S. Justice Department is expected to seek indictments of up to four former BP traders as early as Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported in its online edition.
BP reported a 45 percent fall in third-quarter replacement cost profit to $3.867 billion due to lower oil and gas production, problems at its refining division and fewer asset sales, which had flattered the year-earlier result.
Azerbaijan's biggest gas field, Shakh-Deniz, has 20% more gas reserves than initially thought, a project partner said on Thursday confirming the field's large export potential for Europe.
Kuwait wants to drop Royal Dutch Shell as a partner and is instead considering BP in a project to build a $5 billion oil refinery in Guangdong in China, Kuwait's state news agency KUNA reported on Tuesday.
Oil major BP has complained to Alaska state officials about the description of at least two oil production disruptions posted on an official state website, a BP spokesman said Wednesday night.
The four cases were filed by survivors of a deadly 2005 explosion who sued the London-based company for emotional distress, loss of hearing and other illnesses.
Aviation has borne the brunt of environmentalists' ire for causing climate change but the global maritime industry could face similar pressure if it can't agree to curbs in greenhouse gases, industry experts warn.
Alaska officials said Tuesday they were investigating BP Plc's local unit due to a spate of fires at oil-field facilities, which come after two years of scrutiny over safety at BP's U.S. operations.
French oil major Total has trimmed its average annual hydrocarbon output growth target for 2006-2010, blaming the impact of rising oil prices on some of its production-sharing agreements and project delays.
Shell Oil was pulling nonessential workers from the western U.S. Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday as the company prepared to shut in 5 million cubic feet of natural gas production off the south Texas coast, the company said.
Royal Dutch Shell sold three French oil refineries and gas field stakes in Norway for $2.5 billion on Thursday, pressing ahead with its strategy to divest lower-returning assets.
Oil company Total said Thurdsay that second-quarter net profit was little changed as improved refinery margins failed to offset the weaker dollar.
Exxon Mobil posted a 1% drop in quarterly earnings on Thursday, missing expectations, as weaker natural gas prices and production offset higher margins from production of gasoline and chemicals.
Stocks ended sharply lower on several disappointing earnings reports and concerns about the housing industry. "The housing story has gone from bad to worse. It's pretty clear that the subprime market is not as well contained as a lot of people had been thinking," said David Rosenberg, North American economist at Merrill Lynch.
BP's new Chief Executive Tony Hayward pledged to turn around Europe's second-largest fully-listed oil company on Tuesday as a drop in second-quarter profits highlighted its industry-lagging performance.
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Regulators postponed a decision Friday on revoking the license of BP's Russian joint venture for a giant gas field, days before President Vladimir Putin heads into a Group of Eight summit amid grumbles about the Kremlin using energy as a political weapon.
General Electric Chairman and Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt said his "green" ecomagination unit is on track to "blow away" its 2010 sales target of $20 billion as demand for environmental products and services surges.