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Asset sales weigh on BP earnings

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LONDON — BP PLC’s fourth-quarter profits fell 30 percent as the asset sales that it has pursued to compensate victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster reduced production.

The company said Tuesday that net income slid to $1.04 billion from $1.49 billion in the same quarter the year before. A number of factors were behind the decline, with lower production levels in the wake of the asset sales a key factor. Overall production, excluding Russia, fell 1.9 percent to the equivalent of 2.25 billion barrels of oil a day. BP said it expects production to decline this year because of the expiration of a concession in Abu Dhabi.

A drop in prices for refined products and costs related to new projects also weighed on BP’s profits.

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