StockMarketWire.com - Oil major BP swung to a loss in the third quarter, driven by 'significantly' lower earnings at its oil and gas production business amid a decline in prices and hurricane impacts.

BP reported a loss of $749m for the three months through September, compared with a profit of $3.3m on-year.

Underlying replacement cost profit - a closely watched measure to gauge performance - was $2.3bn, well below the $3.8bn seen a year earlier, with reported oil and gas production up 2.8% to an average of 3.7m barrels a day of oil equivalent.

Underlying upstream production, excluding Rosneft, was down 2.5% from a year earlier, reflecting maintenance across a number of regions and weather impacts in the US Gulf of Mexico, the company said.

Organic capital expenditure for the third quarter and nine months was $3.9bn and $11.3bn,. respectively.

BP declared a dividend of 10.25 cents a share for the quarter.

Looking ahead, it said it expected fourth-quarter production to be higher than the third-quarter, due to the completion of seasonal maintenance and turnaround activities.

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