Oil major BP (BP.) ticks up 0.4% to 496.5p as it ditches plans to drill for hydrocarbons in the Great Australian Bight marine ecosystem.

Predictably controversial with environmentalists, the company, a Shares tip for 2016, had previously said the province had the potential to be as prospective of the US Gulf of Mexico.


Although the strong opposition and repeated requests for more information from the Australian regulator may have been a factor, the decision to abandon the effort probably has more to do with belt tightening.

We discuss in this article how the UK's two oil majors are having to balance the impact of lower oil prices with a commitment to their respective dividends. At the current share price BP yields 6%.

The price of the black stuff at least seems to be heading in the right direction for BP, Russian president Vladimir Putin's pledge at a Turkish energy conference to join the recently agreed OPEC production freeze providing support.

Brent crude trades at $53 per barrel, double the lows it hit in January 2016 but less than half the levels it was at in 2014.

Issue Date: 11 Oct 2016