Photos: Month 4

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  1. The Blue Dolphin, left, and the HOS Centerline, the ships supplying the mud for the static kill operation on the Helix Q4000, are seen delivering mud through hoses at the site of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana, on Aug. 3, 2010. In the background is the Development Driller III, which is drilling the primary relief well. (Gerald Herbert / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Eddie Forsythe and Don Rorabough dump a box of blue crabs onto a sorting table at B.K. Seafood in Yscloskey, La., on Aug. 3, 2010. The crabs were caught by fisherman Garet Mones. Commercial and recreational fishing has resumed, with some restrictions in areas that were closed by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (Chuck Cook / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Sea turtle hatchlings that emerged from eggs gathered on the northern Gulf Coast of Florida are released at Playalinda Beach on the Canaveral National Seashore near Titusville, Fla., on Aug. 2, 2010. The sea turtles were born at a Kennedy Space Center incubation site, where thousands of eggs collected from Florida and Alabama beaches along the Gulf of Mexico have been sent. (Craig Rubadoux / Florida Today via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. A crab, covered with oil, walks along an oil absorbent boom near roso-cane reeds at the South Pass of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana on Aug. 1, 2010. BP is testing the well to see if it can withstand a "static kill" which would close the well permanently. (Pool / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A boat motors through a sunset oil sheen off East Grand Terre Island, where the Gulf of Mexico meets Barataria Bay on the La. coast, on the evening of July 31. (Gerald Herbert / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Oil approaches a line of barges and boom positioned to protect East Grand Terre Island, partially seen at top right, on July 31. (Gerald Herbert / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is seen near an unprotected island in the Gulf of Mexico near Timbalier Bay, off the coast of Louisiana on Wednesday, July 28. (Gerald Herbert / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Greenpeace activists stand outside a BP gas station in London, England, on July 27 after they put up a fence to cut off access. Several dozen BP stations in London were temporarily shut down to protest the Gulf spill. (Leon Neal / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. James Wilson sells T-shirts to those arriving in Grand Isle, La., for the music festival Island Aid 2010 on July 24. (Dave Martin / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Activists covered in food coloring made to look like oil protest BP's Gulf oil spill in Mexico City on July 22. The sign at far left reads in Spanish "Petroleum kills animals." (Alexandre Meneghini / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. People in Lafayette, La., wear "Keep Drilling" tee shirts at the "Rally for Economic Survival" opposing the federal ban on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, July 21. Supporters at the rally want President Obama to lift the moratorium immediately to protect Louisiana's jobs and economy. (Ann Heisenfelt / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. A flock of white ibis lift off from marsh grass on Dry Bread Island in St. Bernard Parish, La., July 21. Crews found about 130 dead birds and 15 live birds affected by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on July 19 in the eastern part of the parish behind the Chandeleur Islands. (Patrick Semansky / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of the BP Oil Spill Victim Compensation Fund testifies during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on July 21 in Washington, D.C. The hearing was to examine the claim process for victims of the Gulf Coast oil spill. (Alex Wong / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. An American white pelican has its wings checked during a physical examination at Brookfield Zoo’s Animal Hospital by Michael Adkesson and Michael O’Neill on July 21. The bird, along with four other pelicans, was rescued from the Gulf Coast oil spill and will be placed on permanent exhibit at the zoo. (Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Native people of the Gwich'in Nation form a human banner on the banks of the Porcupine River near Ft. Yukon, Alaska July 21, in regard to the BP oil spill with a message to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil development. The images include a Porcupine caribou antler and a threatened Yukon River Salmon. (Camila Roy / Spectral Q via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image:
    Gerald Herbert / AP
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    Slideshow (10) Oil spill disaster in the Gulf - Rig explosion
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    Slideshow (11) Grim inventory of wildlife claimed by Gulf spill
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 2/1/2011 4:11:22 AM ET 2011-02-01T09:11:22

BP PLC announced Tuesday it is resuming dividends for the first time since the Gulf of Mexico well disaster, as the oil company reported a 30 percent gain in fourth-quarter profits which fell short of reversing a full-year loss.

BP said it had booked a charge of $40.9 billion for the full year to cover the cost of the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig which killed 11 workers, and for the costs of stopping and cleaning up the oil spill along the southern U.S. coast.

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The company also announced plans to sell two U.S. refineries including the Texas City, Texas facility where 15 workers died in a massive explosion in 2005.

'Prudent'
However, the news could be overshadowed by a court case later on Tuesday at which the company's oligarch partners in TNK-BP will seek an injunction to block BP's planned Arctic exploration joint venture with Russian state-controlled Rosneft.

BP, which suspended dividends following the Macondo well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico in April, said it would pay 7 cents per share — half the amount paid in the fourth quarter of 2009.

"We believe now is the right time to resume payment of a dividend to our shareholders," said Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg.

"We have chosen a prudent level that reflects the company's strong underlying financial and operating performance but also recognizes the need to fully meet our obligations in the Gulf of Mexico and to maintain financial flexibility."

The company made a profit of $5.6 billion in the fourth quarter, up from $4.3 billion a year earlier. However, for the full year BP booked a loss of $3.7 billion compared with a profit of $16.6 billion in 2009.

Slideshow: Grim inventory of wildlife claimed by Gulf spill (on this page)

Britain's Sky News reported that it was the company's first annual loss since 1992.

Replacement cost profit — a closely watched industry measure which reflects inventory gains and losses — was $4.6 billion for the quarter, up from $3.4 billion a year earlier. For the full year BP saw a replacement cost loss of $4.9 billion, compared with a profit of $14 billion in 2009.

BP said it had spent more than $1 billion modernizing the Texas City plant, but said it "lacks strong integration into any BP marketing assets."

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However, BP said it will keep the chemicals complex at Texas City.

BP said it also hopes to sell the Carson refinery near Los Angeles along with its marketing business in southern California, Arizona and Nevada. The company plans to concentrate its U.S. refining and marketing activity at Whiting, Indiana and Cherry Point, Washington, and its 50 percent stake in an Toledo, Ohio refinery.

"2011 will be a year of recovery and consolidation as we implement the changes we have identified to reduce operational risk and meet our commitments arising from the spill," said BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley. "But it will also be a year in which we have the opportunity to reset the company, adjusting the shape of our business, and focus on growing value for shareholders."

The Associated Press, Reuters and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.

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