Oil giant BP is reporting a dramatic fall in third-quarter profit and says it will further curtail spending to counter the effects of low oil prices.

The London-based company says net income fell to $46 million from $1.29 billion in the third quarter of 2014. So-called underlying replacement cost profit, the company's preferred measure of performance, fell 40 percent to $1.82 billion.

BP says it will cut costs by $6 billion through 2017 — $3 billion more than already achieved. The company also expects to sell as much as $5 billion of assets next year.

The earnings come after Brent crude, the benchmark for North Sea oil, averaged $50.26 a barrel during the third quarter of 2015, down 51 percent from a year earlier.