BP profits jump 71% in Q1 2018 on rising oil prices


The oil giant reported profits of $2.6bn (£1.9bn) for the first quarter, up from $1.5bn in the same period past year, which "primarily reflects higher oil prices and a favourable foreign exchange impact".

The company has also demonstrated that despite the general wariness in the industry, the supermajors are investing in new production: in the last quarter, BP made a final investment decision on four new projects-two in the United Kingdom portion of the North Sea, one in India, and one in Oman.

BP said its upstream operations - which cover exploration and production - enjoyed the best quarter since the third quarter of 2014, with underlying profits more than doubling to 3.2 billion U.S. dollars (£2.3 billion).

"Moving through 2018 were determined to keep delivering our operational targets and maintaining capital discipline while growing cash flow and returns".

He added: "Our safe and reliable operations and strong financial delivery have continued into 2018".

Operating cash flow excluding amounts relating to the Gulf of Mexico spill was $5.4 billion which was impacted by a $1.8 billion increase in working capital.

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The London-based company reported net income of $2.47 billion, up from $1.45 billion in the same period previous year.

BP reported in a statement this morning that its underlying replacement cost profit for the first three months of the year had climbed to $2.6 billion, compared with $1.5 billion in the prior-year period, with the group's upstream division reporting its strongest quarter since third quarter 2014 on both a replacement cost and underlying basis.

Bob Dudley, chief executive, hailed a "strong set of results", which were the oil major's best quarterly performance in three years.

At the same time, the London-based company saw its debt pile rise following $1.6 billion in payments to settle remaining lawsuits following the deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico which has cost it more than $65 billion.

First Upstream major project of 2018, Atoll in Egypt, started production; to date in 2018, final investment decisions have been taken on four new projects – in Oman, India and two in the UK North Sea.

Shareholder dividend stayed at 10 cents per share. Net debt at the end of March was $40 billion, up from $37.8 billion at the end of 2017. In total, payments are expected to total just over $3 billion in 2018.