BP delivers best quarterly earnings performance in three years

BP reported a 71% increase in profit during the first quarter of 2018, generating US$2.6 billion compared to $1.5 billion in the opening quarter in 2017.

Underlying profit also grew by 23% in Q1, making the results BP’s best in three years. Meanwhile operating cash flow (excluding payments made relating to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill) reached $5.4 billion, an increase of $1 billion from last year.

The supermajor bought back $120 million worth of shares in the first quarter and made $1.6 billion in payments towards the Gulf of Mexico spill, with full-year costs relating to the disaster expected to hit just over $3 billion, down from $5.2 billion in 2017.

Oil and gas production increased by 6% to 3.7 million barrels per day during the first quarter, which along with resurgent oil prices were key factors in the company’s improved earnings performance.

BP’s results mirror a string of strong Q1 results amongst the oil and gas supermajors, after Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and others reported substantial jumps in profit.

Chief executive of BP Bob Dudley said: “Our safe and reliable operations and strong financial delivery have continued into 2018…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.”