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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

BP Reports Slowest Growth in Last 6 Quarters

LONDON — BP reported the smallest growth in oil and gas production in six quarters as Russian output slows and fields mature in the United States and Europe.

First-quarter production averaged 4.09 million barrels per day, up from 4.02 million bpd in the year-earlier period, the company said in a Regulatory News Service statement Monday. Supplies from outside Russia fell 1.7 percent to 3.13 million bpd.

"Management should be able to stem the decline and keep it flat," said Dirk Hoozemans, who helps manage about $4 billion in energy stocks, including BP, at Robeco Asset Management in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

The benchmark price for crude in Europe, Dated Brent, rose to an average $47.62 per barrel last quarter, up 49 percent from a year earlier, BP said.

Output in Russia in the first quarter was 960,000 bpd, up from 832,000 bpd a year earlier, an increase of 15 percent. From the fourth quarter, the company's Russian production will decline from the indicated 965,000 bpd.

"I'm sure they are squeezing as many barrels out of the ground as they can," Bruce Evers, a London-based analyst with Investec Securities, said by telephone. Slowing growth was expected, said Evers, who rates the stock "hold."

BP reiterated Monday that production in 2005 will be between 4.1 million and 4.2 million bpd, indicating growth of as little as 2.5 percent this year, compared with a 10 percent jump in 2004.