BP just had its worst year since it destroyed the Gulf of Mexico

A cold winter for BP.
A cold winter for BP.
Image: AP Photo/Martin Meissner
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BP just reported earnings (pdf), and they weren’t good.

The company announced its worst-ever annual loss (£4.5 billion, or $6.5 billion), sending its stock down around 9% in London trading. It also announced that it would cut nearly 7,000 jobs by 2017, or 9% of its workforce.

The company’s loss was worse than in 2010, when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. BP says the resulting environmental disaster cost some $55 billion to-date.

Still, the tremendous recent drop-off in oil prices—set off as OPEC and US shale producers went head-to-head for market share and flooded a slowing world economy with crude—hasn’t been enough to sink shares to the lows they saw that year.

It appears investors don’t think a massive collapse in the commodity that underpins most of BP’s business is as big a threat to the enterprise as a historical environmental disaster.