May 2, 2017

BP profits surge after rebound in oil prices

BP almost tripled its profits in the first three months of this year, as the UK oil group benefited from higher crude prices to report better than expected first-quarter results on Tuesday. The results added to evidence of recovery in the energy industry after an 80 per cent increase in oil prices from the 12-year lows recorded early last year. BP's results, described as "Strong" by analysts at Jefferies, provided signs of momentum for a group that has been laid low in recent years by the $62bn cost of clean-up and compensation stemming from its 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the US. The company's shares rose 2.4 per cent to £4.53 in early morning trading in London. In the past month, BP has agreed to sell a 50 per cent stake in the Shanghai Secco Petroleum Company to its local partner, Sinopec, for $1.68bn, as well as its sprawling Forties pipeline system in the North Sea to Ineos, the petrochemicals group, for $250m. Bob Dudley, BP chief executive, said the year had started well with robust earnings and cash flow in both the group's upstream and downstream businesses, with further benefits to come from new projects starting production.

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