BP is haemorrhaging money and workers, as rock-bottom crude oil prices have hit revenues hard.
The company has recorded a $2.2bn fourth-quarter loss, and has drawn up plans to reduce its workforce by 7,000 people.
The news shook the markets, which quickly moved to dump shares in BP, resulting in sharp falls in the share price of up to 7.2%.
BP chief executive Bob Dudley tried to reassure investors the British firm would not cut its dividends. He said: “We are continuing to move rapidly to adapt and rebalance BP for the changing environment.
“We’re making good progress in managing and lowering our costs and capital spending, while maintaining safe and reliable operations and continuing disciplined investment into the future of our portfolio.”