The boss of BP has warned that Scottish independence could cause his company “uncertainties” and said he did not want to see Scotland drifting away.

“We have a lot of people in Scotland. We have a lot of investments in Scotland. My personal view is that Great Britain is great and it ought to stay together, said BP chief executive Bob Dudley.

Uncertainty around currency issues could affect the company and if Scotland became independent, it would mean additional costs for BP, Dudley told reporters later.

“It does not seem the right thing to me for the country (Scotland) to drift off. That’s not a company view, that’s from me,” he added.

Dudley was speaking after BP announced that underlying replacement cost profit - which strips out one-off gains and the effect of oil price movements - was $13.4bn (£8.2bn) last year, down from $17.1bn in 2012.

BP said lost income from asset sales, weaker margins on refining and higher exploration write-offs were to blame.

For the final three months of last year, BP said underlying replacement cost profit fell to $2.8bn from $3.9bn.

BP has sold $38bn of assets since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, helping it to fund compensation payouts.

The oil firm said in October it plans to sell a further $10bn of assets by the end of next year.