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A man watches a steaming BP refinery in the city of Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
AP Photo/Martin Meissner
A cold winter for BP.
CRUD OIL

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

By Melvin Backman

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.