BP (LON:BP) saw its profits soar in 2017, with the group having benefitted from an upswing in oil prices, the blue-chip company has disclosed. The results come after the FTSE 100 group, whose performance has been pressured by costs related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, became the first European oil and gas major to resume share buybacks last year.
BP’s share price, however, has fallen deep into the red in London this morning, having given up 1.17 percent to 476.40p as of 08:45 GMT. The shares are marginally outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having fallen 1.80 percent to 7,202.77p amid an ongoing global equities selloff.
‘One of the strongest years’
BP announced in a statement today that its underlying replacement cost profit had soared to $6.2 billion for full year 2017 and $2.1 billion in the fourth quarter, from $2.6 billion and $400 million for full year and fourth quarter 2016, respectively. The group benefitted from a rise in oil prices, with the price of a barrel of Brent crude having surged by 40 percent since July.
BP further reported that its exploration had delivered the most successful year for the company since 2004, while the group’s upstream production jumped 12 percent.
“2017 was one of the strongest years in BP’s recent history,” the oil major’s chief executive Bob Dudley commented in the statement, adding that the company entered the second year of its “five-year plan with real momentum”.
The group’s fourth-quarter performance, however, was hit by non-operating items, including a $900-million charge related to the tax changes on the other side of the Atlantic, as well as a $1.7-billion post-tax charge relating to a further provision for claims associated with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
BP expects to deliver a rise in this year’s output due to the ramp-up of major projects. First-quarter production, however, is likely to be broadly flat with the fourth-quarter of 2017 due to growth from last year’s major project start-ups.