Published: Wed, February 07, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

EXTRA: BP Joins Shell In Profit Rise But Also Lifts Oil Production

EXTRA: BP Joins Shell In Profit Rise But Also Lifts Oil Production

Underlying replacement cost profit was $6.2 billion for the full year of 2017 and $2.1 billion for the fourth quarter, compared with $2.6 billion and $400 million for the full year and fourth quarter of 2016 respectively.

Excluding its share of Russia's Rosneft, BP pumped 2.581 million barrels a day in the fourth quarter, up from 2.186 million barrels a day a year earlier.

Chief executive Bob Dudley hailed it "as one of the strongest years in BP's recent history". And we did all this while maintaining safe and reliable operations.

Operating cash flow was $24.1 billion compared to $17.6 billion in 2016, increasing by a 24 percent, excluding the Gulf of Mexico oil spill payments.

BP echoed Shell in saying its improved results primarily reflected higher oil prices.

Last week, North Sea oil production to 200,000 barrels by 2020 through a variety of projects. "We enter the second year of our five-year plan with real momentum, increasingly confident that we can continue to deliver growth".

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The blast killed 11 men off the coast of Louisiana and caused 134 million gallons (507 million litres) of oil to spew into Gulf waters, sparking the worst environmental catastrophe in U.S. history.

BP said production fuel volumes in Downstream for 2017 were 6% higher year-on-year, with fuels marketing earnings rising more than 10% in 2017 on the year before.

The company is not the only oil giant to defy analysts' expectations. "2018 should be a year where operating cash flow can cover cash capex, full cash dividend and Macondo payments without disposal proceeds".

BP also took a one-off charge of $900m to adjust to new United States tax rules, although it expected a long-term boost from the lowered corporate tax rates. BP said it expects capex to be within a range of USD15.00 billion to USD16.00 billion in 2018. Net debt fell to $37.8 billion at the end of the fourth quarter, down significantly from $39.8 billion in the preceding period.

Performance, meanwhile, spilled over to shareholders in the form of a 10 cent quarterly dividend, payable March 29.

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