BP doubles earnings in Q3 and launches share buyback

BP (LSE:BP) has added to the resurgent mood in the global oil and gas industry by revealing its Q3 2017 earnings have doubled, coinciding with a two year high in oil prices at above US$60 a barrel.

Underlying replacement cost profit, the company’s definition of net income, rose to $1.9 billion during the last quarter, compared to $933 million in the same quarter of 2016.

The global oil major also revealed that it was able to balance its cash flow during the first nine months of 2017, excluding the large payments associated with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill.

At the heart of BP’s profit growth was a 14% increase in Q3 oil and gas production, with the firm initiating six major projects over the course of the year.

The downstream business also saw profit margins rise sharply after Hurricane Harvey knocked out around one quarter of US refining capacity for several weeks in August and September.

In light of the positive Q3 results, BP announced it will recommence a share buyback programme during Q4 to offset the ongoing dilutive effect of its current scrip dividends programme.

“We are steadily building a track record of delivering on our plans and growing across our businesses,” said chief executive Bob Dudley.

“This quarter, three new upstream projects and the highest downstream earnings in five years, underpinned by reliable operations and disciplined spending, have generated healthy earnings and cash flow.”