Continuing low oil prices have contributed to a fall in BP’s underlying profit for the second quarter of 2015 to $1.3bn. This compared with $2.6bn for the previous quarter and $3.6bn for the second quarter of 2014.

However, an agreement to settle claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, resulted in a charge of $9.8bn which pushed BP to a loss for the quarter of $6.3bn.

Bob Dudley, BP’s group chief executive, said: “The external environment remains challenging, but BP moved quickly in response and we continue to do so. Our work to increase efficiency and reduce costs is embedding sustainable benefits throughout the Group and we continue with capital discipline and divestments.”

“In the past few weeks oil prices have fallen back in response to continued oversupply and market weakness and the recent agreements regarding Iran. I am confident that positioning BP for a period of weaker prices is the right course to take, and will serve the company well for the future,” said Dudley.