BP earnings double on larger oil value

BP petrol sign

Shell, London's largest listed company by market capitalisation, posted significantly increased earnings as a result of higher oil prices on Thursday last week, with current cost of supply earnings excluding identified items reaching USD15.76 billion for 2017, more than double 2016's USD7.19 billion, and narrowly above analyst consensus of USD15.72 billion.

British energy giant BP Plc (BP.L, BP_UN.TO, BP) reported Tuesday that its fourth-quarter replacement cost or RC loss was $583 million, compared to profit of o$72 million past year.

It is set to start up six additional projects this year including in Egypt, Azerbaijan and Britain's North Sea, helping boost production by 900,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2021, most of it gas.

BP (LON:BP) saw its profits soar in 2017, with the group having benefitted from an upswing in oil prices, the blue-chip company has disclosed.

BP said production fuel volumes in Downstream for 2017 were 6% higher year-on-year, with fuels marketing earnings rising more than 10% in 2017 on the year before.

BP opened seven new oil and gas fields during 2017 and its oil production rose 12 per cent to 247m barrels of oil per day.

BP said it was hit by an additional $3.18 billion of Gulf-related costs in 2017.

"We delivered operationally and financially, with very strong earnings in the Downstream, Upstream production up 12 percent, and our finances rebalanced", Bob Dudley was quoted as saying in a press release. "2018 should be a year where operating cash flow can cover cash capex, full cash dividend and Macondo payments without disposal proceeds". "And we did all this while maintaining safe and reliable operations", Dudley added.

In 2017, BP managed to cover the costs and pay full dividends at oil prices of 50 Dollars per barrel.

Operating cash flow for 2017, excluding Gulf of Mexico oil spill payments, was $24.1 billion, compared with $17.6 billion in 2016, BP said.

The company is not the only oil giant to defy analysts' expectations. As of October it had managed just USD1.0 billion in divestments, but achieved USD2.5 billion in the fourth quarter overall.

BP began share buybacks in the fourth quarter, spending $343 million, fully offsetting the dilution from scrip dividends issued in the third quarter.

The BP is the first major European oil and gas company to resume share buybacks after a three-year hiatus, announcing plans to buy back shares for 1.6 billion Dollars per year to offset the dwindling effect of a dividend program where shareholders can choose whether to receive their dividends through cash or equity.

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