Oil giant BP has reported a sharp fall in profits today in the second quarter of the year after it had to cut the value of a number of its key assets. The oil giant posted nearly $5billion in accounting charges. which meant it had to cut the value of its US shale gas fields and a number of refineries. It said its profits were also reduced by the decision to suspend its Liberty offshore oil project in Alaska.

Even without these one-off factors, BP's profit was lower as it was hit by weaker global oil prices and the reduced price of natural gas in the US. In addition, it said that planned maintenance had cut production in the Gulf of Mexico, and that it had seen reduced net income from its Russian joint venture TNK-BP.

In response to these latest results BP chief executive Bob Dudley said in a statement : "We recognise this was a weak earnings quarter, driven by a combination of factors affecting both the sector and BP specifically. He also added "the company was continuing to turnaround its fortunes and rebuilding trust with our shareholders and other stakeholders is vitally important."

Written and presented by Ann Salter