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BP's Dudley lauds Trump for support of US businesses

Edinburgh, Scotland — US President Donald Trump has provided "vital" support to business in that country by removing regulatory hurdles and speeding up decisions, BP chief executive Bob Dudley said Wednesday, rejecting the idea Trump's calls for lower oil prices might harm oil companies.

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Speaking in Edinburgh, Dudley defended Trump's repeated interventions aimed at influencing major oil producing countries and bringing down prices.

"I think he puts American business on a broad scale," Dudley told reporters. "Everyone was getting very uncomfortable at the direction of oil prices when they were hitting $85, $86. It looked like they would keep going up. That doesn't make him a friend or not a friend of the industry.

"But I think the regulations, the avalanche of regulations has been pulled down, so anybody building infrastructure, doing anything in the US, is simpler and quicker. Decisions are made -- yes or no -- much faster. As a business I think that's friendly to business. I think it's vital."

Dudley played down the impact of recent oil price weakness on BP, saying the company assumes oil prices of $55-$60/b for planning purposes and while it might reprioritize "a few things," in terms of investment, "I couldn't tell you today something that will stop."

Asked about next week's meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC producers in Vienna, Dudley declined to be drawn on the best outcome, saying, "It's really volatile. The decision will be a political one and we just can't plan on that." -- Nick Coleman, nick.coleman@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Richard Rubin, newsdesk@spglobal.com