BP to push ahead with big oil project in the Gulf of Mexico

BP PLC is moving ahead with a $9 billion oil project in the Gulf of Mexico after a cost-cutting redesign, a sign of confidence about future prices for crude.

The UK-based oil giant announced it would continue with the second phase of its Mad Dog project off the Louisiana coast just a day after OPEC ministers agreed to cut production, a move that sparked a rally in oil prices.

BP said, however, that the project would be profitable even at or below current oil prices. BP spokesman Jason Ryan said the OPEC decision did not affect the company's decision.

Minority partners BHP Billiton Ltd. and Chevron Corp. have not decided yet whether to invest in the redesigned...