BP chief: ‘Much less rocky road’

BP CEO Bob Dudley has a message: We’re back. Or getting there, anyway.

BP's third-quarter profits announced Tuesday beat expectations and the company raised dividends.

Dudley, in a series of interviews, said the company has succeeded in transforming itself since the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill that badly wounded its finances, even though he told CNBC there’s still a “litigation overhang.”

The company has come a "long way" and faces a "much less rocky road," he told the network, and touted its renewed oil exploration efforts and production projects.

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“People need to see our production growth, getting projects on, finding oil and gas, we had two significant discoveries this quarter already. I think they should look at us as a fundamentally sound oil and gas company,” Dudley told CNBC.
 
Dudley said the company has acquired more acreage for oil-and-gas exploration in the last two years than in the prior nine.

BP has shed $38 billion in assets to help cover spill costs in recent years, and the leaner oil giant said Tuesday it expects to shed another $10 billion in assets by the end of 2015.

“Proceeds from these divestments – which will follow on from the $38 billion divestment program completed over the past three years – are expected to be used predominantly for additional distributions to shareholders, with a bias to share buy-backs,” the company said Tuesday in announcing its third-quarter profit numbers.

But in the United States, the company – which says it has spent over $26 billion on costs related to the spill – still faces billions of dollars in more in Clean Water Act penalties in its ongoing civil trial.

And E2-Wire will be watching this week as the Environmental Protection Agency is slated to file its response to BP's lawsuit that challenges the company's suspension from receiving new federal contracts.