Rising crude oil price helps BP to pump annual profits 139% higher to $6bn

Brent crude oil price reached a $70-barrel, three year high in Jan 2018 on a rising curve throughout 2017.
Brent crude oil price reached a $70-barrel, three year high in Jan 2018 on a rising curve from Summer 2017.

Profits at BP more than doubled in 2017 – buoyed up by a rising price of wholesale crude oil when last month hit a three year high at around $70-barrel.

The oil giant made $6.2 billion (£4.4 billion) – up from $2.6 billion (£1.9 billion) made during the previous 12 months – to record a rise of 139%

During the year, BP opened seven new oil and gas fields – most of which were outwith the North Sea – and its oil production rose 12% to 247 million barrels of oil per day.

Last week, BP announced the discovery of two major new fields in the North Sea that the company hopes will double  oil production to 200,000 barrels by 2020.

Chief executive Bob Dudley hailed “2017 as one of the strongest years in BP’s recent history”.

He added: “We delivered operationally and financially, with very strong earnings in the Downstream, Upstream production up 12%, and our finances rebalanced. And we did all this while maintaining safe and reliable operations.

“We enter the second year of our five-year plan with real momentum, increasingly confident that we can continue to deliver growth across our business, improving cash flows and returns for shareholders out to 2021 and beyond.

“At the same time, we are embracing the energy transition, seeking new opportunities in a changing, lower-carbon world.”



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BP 2017 full year and 4Q2017 financial results at a glance:

  • Underlying replacement cost profit was $6.2 billion for full year 2017 and $2.1 billion for the fourth quarter, compared with $2.6 billion and $400 million for full year and fourth quarter 2016 respectively.
  • Operating cash flow for 2017, excluding Gulf of Mexico oil spill payments, was $24.1 billion, compared with $17.6 billion in 2016. Gulf of Mexico oil spill payments in 2017 were $5.2 billion, compared with $6.9 billion in 2016.
  • Downstream earnings were very strong with underlying replacement cost profit of $7.0 billion, 24% higher than 2016.
  • Operational reliability was high, with refining availability and Upstream BP-operated plant reliability both 95%.
  • Seven new major projects* delivered, boosting oil and gas production. Upstream production, excluding BP’s share of Rosneft production, was 12% higher than 2016, the highest since 2010. 
  • Exploration delivered the most successful year for BP since 2004, with around 1 billion boe resources discovered.
  • Dividend unchanged at 10 cents per share. 
  • BP began share buybacks in the fourth quarter, spending $343 million, fully offsetting the dilution from scrip dividends issued in the third quarter. 

7 Feb 2018

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