Live updates


Big British oil companies report large profit falls

Two British oil companies have posted huge drops in profit for 2014 compared with the year before.

BP reported a 20% drop in underlying profit for the fourth quarter of 2014, dropping to $2,239 million, compared with $2,809 million for the same period in 2013.

Big British oil companies report large profit falls Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

BP said the fall in profits was due to tumbling value of oil, with chief executive Bob Dudley saying: "We have now entered a new and challenging phase of low oil prices through the near and medium term."

Britain's third-biggest energy company BG Group full-year total operating profit fell 14% year on year to $6.5 billion, while earnings slipped 8% to $4 billion.

Miliband: Cameron 'in denial' over living standards

Ed Miliband says Britons has attacked the Conservatives for "denial, complacency and failure" on the British public's standard of living.

After David Cameron suggested companies benefiting from falling oil prices should pass the savings on to staff in pay rises, the Labour leader said the Prime Minister's words would have people "choking on their cornflakes".

"This is someone who has spent months and years telling us there was no cost of living crisis, and then if there ever was one, it had been fixed," he said.

He criticised Cameron for "running from" the planned TV debates, and claimed that "for the first time since the 1920s, working people will be worse off at the end of a government than they were at the start."

Labour: Falling oil prices will not solve 'cost of living crisis'

Labour says falling oil prices will not solve "deep-seated" problems in the UK economy with stagnant wages.

Shadow treasury minister Shabana Mahmood said working people were "£1,600 a year worse off under David Cameron and said that "wages continue to stagnate".

She also criticised the Conservatives for blocking Labour proposals to give energy regulator Ofgem more control over household bills.

David Cameron says he wants falling oil prices to be passed on in all ways possible. But just this week the Tories voted against Labour’s plans to give the regulator the power to force energy companies to cut their prices when wholesale costs fall.

– Shabana Mahmood MP, Shadow Treasury Minister

Cameron: I want firms to pass on success in staff wages

Asked whether he would encourage firms to pass on some of the windfall profits from falling oil prices in higher wages, David Cameron said he wanted firms to increase wages.

Obviously I want to see companies' success passed through in terms of wage increases.

It has to be done in a way that's affordable, and in a way that companies can continue to grow, we need to see productivity increase.

Companies that can afford to pay the living wage should. It's good and helps to reduce the welfare bill.

Falling oil prices is going to benefit a lot of businesses and a lot of countries and we want to see those benefits passed through in all the ways they can be.

– David Cameron


Cameron: Firms should pass on oil price savings to staff

David Cameron has said firms should pass on the benefits of falling oil prices to their staff.

The Prime Minister said plummeting costs were a real boost for many businesses and workers should reap the rewards

Cameron: Firms should pass on oil price savings to staff. Credit: PA

He called on companies that could afford it to pay staff the living wage, currently set at £7.85.

Mr Cameron was speaking in Washington during a two-day visit to the US for talks with President Obama.

Brent crude oil price falls below $50 for first time since 2009

Brent crude oil prices have fallen below $50 a barrel for the first time since May 2009 Credit: Reuters

The price of Brent crude oil prices has fallen below $50 (£33) a barrel for the first time since May 2009.

Benchmark Brent crude futures fell more than a dollar to $49.92 a barrel this morning, later rising back above $50.

Analysts said that further price falls were likely because of an excess of supply and sluggish demand

Shippers, airlines and motorists stand to gain from the fall.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney said last month that the oil price slide was a "net positive development" for the UK.

LA streets covered in 'river of oil'

Approximately 10,000 gallons of crude oil has leaked onto the streets of Los Angeles after a high-pressure pipe burst.

It is believed to have covered a half-mile area and is knee deep in some areas.

Locals have tweeted pictures of the flowing oil on the streets:

Burst pipe sprays crude oil over streets of Los Angeles

Approximately 10,000 gallons of crude oil sprayed on to the streets of Los Angeles after a high-pressure pipe burst. The oil was seen shooting up into the sky and onto streets and nearby businesses.

The oil spill happened at 1am local time in Los Angeles. Credit: NBC News

The Los Angeles fire department says the spill covered a half-mile area and is knee deep in some areas.

Oil seen running down the street in Los Angeles. Credit: NBC News

No injuries have been reported.

Load more updates