BP profits jumped 71% during the first three months of the year, the British energy giant said in a press release on May 1 while adding that the momentum will continue into 2018 as it delivers another strong set of results for the first quarter.
“We have delivered another strong set of results. Our safe and reliable operations and strong financial delivery have continued into 2018,” BP CEO Bob Dudley said. “Underlying profit was up 23% on the previous quarter and was our best quarterly result in three years,” he added, noting that with rising output from our new major projects and excellent reliability, upstream production was 9% higher than a year earlier.
“Moving through 2018 we’re determined to keep delivering our operational targets and maintaining capital discipline while growing cash flow and returns,” Dudley said. “Over the longer term, our new lower carbon ambitions, including clear targets for our own emissions, will help ensure that all of BP is also focused on advancing the energy transition,” the BP CEO added.
According to BP, underlying replacement cost profit for the first quarter of 2018 was $2.6 billion, compared with $1.5 billion for the same period in 2017, a rise of 71%.
The operating cash flow, excluding Gulf of Mexico oil spill payments in the quarter, amounted to $5.4 billion, including a $1.8 billion from an increase in working capital ($1.7 billion after adjusting for inventory holding gains) driven by higher oil prices and seasonal inventory builds, BP said.
Upstream production was at its highest since third quarter 2014 on both a replacement cost and an underlying basis.
Reported oil and gas production was 3.7 million barrels of oil equivalent a day in the quarter, 6% higher than the first quarter of 2017. Upstream production, excluding Rosneft, was 9% higher, supported by a continued ramping-up of major projects and upstream plant reliability was 96% for the quarter.
According to BP, the first upstream major project of 2018, Atoll in Egypt, started production in 2018 and final investment decisions have been made for four new projects in Oman, India, and two in the UK North Sea.
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill payments for the quarter were $1.6 billion on a pre-tax basis, including $1.2 billion for the final payment relating to the 2012 Department of Justice settlement, while downstream earnings continued to grow with strong refining availability in the US, BP said.
The British energy giant continued its share buyback programme throughout the quarter, buying 18 million shares for a cost of $120 million.
The dividend remained unchanged at 10 cents per share.