The company was pushed into a headline loss of $20.4 billion in the quarter following its decision in February to pull its 19.75-percent stake in Russian energy group Rosneft.

BP revenue jumped 40 percent to $51 billion in the first quarter from a year earlier.
BP revenue jumped 40 percent to $51 billion in the first quarter from a year earlier. (Reuters Archive)

British energy giant BP has plunged into a huge net loss in the first quarter after it decided to exit Russia over the Ukraine conflict.

The loss after tax stood on Tuesday at $20.4 billion (19.4 billion euros) following BP's decision in February to pull its 19.75-percent stake in energy group Rosneft, ending more than three decades of investment in Russia.

BP had posted a net profit of $4.7 billion in the first quarter of 2021.

"Our decision... to exit our shareholding in Rosneft resulted in the material non-cash charges and headline loss," BP chief executive Bernard Looney said in a statement.

The group booked a pre-tax charge of $25.5 billion owing to its break with Rosneft.

That wiped out the benefit of surging energy prices, which have been fuelled by fears of tight supplies by major oil and gas producer Russia.

BP revenue jumped 40 percent to $51 billion in the first quarter from a year earlier.

"In a quarter dominated by the tragic events in Ukraine and volatility in energy markets, BP's focus has been on supplying the reliable energy our customers need," Looney said.

Oil prices slip

The European Commission will on Tuesday propose to member states a new package of sanctions to punish the Kremlin for its offensive in Ukraine, including an embargo on Russian oil, officials said.

It comes after the EU on Monday warned member states to prepare for a possible complete breakdown in gas supplies from Russia, insisting it would not cede to Moscow's demand that imports be paid for in rubles.

Meanwhile, Oil prices slipped on Tuesday in a second day of thin trading in Asia. 

Brent crude futures fell 23 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $107.35 a barrel at 0532 GMT, wiping out gains earlier in the day in trading thinned by holidays in China, Japan and parts of Southeast Asia.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures similarly dropped 24 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $104.94 a barrel, after hitting an intraday high of $105.80.

Both benchmark contracts rose more than 40 cents on Monday and extended those gains modestly in early trade on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Ukraine ripple effect: Why oil prices continue to rise

Source: Reuters