BP will refocus its efforts on exploration in the developing world while continuing to shrink its overall footprint, including selling off half of its U.S. refining assets, CEO Bob Dudley said Tuesday.
The company also said it will begin paying shareholders a quarterly dividend of 7 cents a share — half of what it was paying when it suspended dividends last year while setting aside funds for billions of dollars in liabilities related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Shares of BP closed up 51 cents to $47.98 on Tuesday.
Oil demand is projected to be flat or declining in coming years in developed regions including North America and Europe, while demand grows in developing nations.
With exploration opportunities in developed nations harder to come by, BP says it is focusing on oil and gas fields in the tough climates of the deep ocean and the Arctic and will form more partnerships with national oil companies to reach those areas.