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BP posts its best results for three years as oil prices surge


New chairman: Helge Lund

New chairman: Helge Lund


New chairman: Helge Lund

BP has reported its best quarterly result for three years after notching up a 71% jump in profits thanks to surging oil prices.

Shares in the oil giant briefly hit their highest level since 2010 as the firm said underlying replacement cost profits jumped to a better-than-expected $2.6bn (£1.9bn) for the first three months of 2018, up from $1.5bn (£1.1bn) a year earlier.

The company's production rose 6% in the first quarter compared with a year ago.

On a bottom-line basis, profits rose 70% to $2.4bn (£1.7bn).

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 $3.2bn (£2.3bn).

But the group continued to count the cost of its 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico, with another $1.6bn (£1.2bn) forked out in the first quarter.

This included $1.2bn (£873m) for the final payment of its 2012 settlement with the Department of Justice.

Bob Dudley, group chief executive at BP, praised "another strong set of results".

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

"Underlying profit was up 23% on the previous quarter and was our best quarterly result in three years."

The sector has been buoyed by rising oil prices, which hit nearly 76 US dollars a barrel on Monday.

Rival oil major Royal Dutch Shell last week reported a 42% rise in underlying quarterly profits to $5.3bn (£3.8bn).

BP's figures come after it last week named energy industry veteran Helge Lund as its next chairman, succeeding Carl-Henric Svanberg.

The stock has been recovering after crashing in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon blast eight years ago which killed 11 workers and sparked the biggest oil spill in US history.

Belfast Telegraph