Better Results, Fire at Refinery Coincide for BP

On Oct. 30, the energy company announced its profit for the third quarter was $5.2 billion, and crews extinguished a fire at its Texas City refinery, which Marathon Petroleum Corp. plans to buy.

Oct. 30 was a good day and a bad day for BP. Its announcement early in the day that its third-quarter 2012 replacement cost profit rose by 40 percent to $5.2 billion was followed hours later by a large fire at the company's Texas City, Texas refinery, the key asset in a pending $2.5 billion asset sale by BP to Marathon Petroleum Corp.

The site has experienced some explosions, leaks, and fires since BP acquired it in 1998, when it merged with Amoco. The Houston Chronicle reported the fire started in a residual hydrotreater unit around 1:30 p.m. local time and was extinguished about 90 minues later with no injuries reported.

BP also announced an increase in its dividend on Oct. 30, to 9 cents per share, for the fourth quarter.

"BP's performance and the strong progress we are making in transforming the company give us the confidence to increase distributions to our shareholders," said group Chief Executive Bob Dudley. "We are on track with our strategy to 2014 and are laying the right foundations for sustainable growth during the coming decade."

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