BP reports one of its strongest quarters in years

While its peers disappointed, profits and production set recent records for the British supermajor.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Feb. 6, 2018 at 7:15 AM
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Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Besting its industry peers, British energy company BP said Tuesday that profits more than doubled in 2017 and production was its highest since 2010.

"2017 was one of the strongest years in BP's recent history," BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley said in a statement.

The British supermajor is the latest out with fourth quarter earnings that have so far disappointed investors. Despite pledging $50 billion in investments in U.S. shale oil over the next five years, Exxon Mobil in particular disappointed the market last week as a multi-billion dollar benefit from a U.S. tax overhaul masked some underlying weakness.

On Monday, Hess Corp. announced its thirteenth consecutive quarterly loss.

BP said Tuesday its full-year profit for 2017 was $6.2 billion, compared with $2.6 billion the previous year. The fourth quarter profit was $2.1 billion, compared with $400 million year-on-year.

BP took a $900 million charge for U.S. federal tax changes and a $1.7 billion post-tax charge associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

On production, the British company said its full-year output was 12 percent higher than in 2016 and its highest level since 2010.

"Fourth quarter production reflects the fifth consecutive quarter of growth as well as the highest production since first quarter 2011," the company's financial statement read.

The Zohr natural gas project in Egypt was counted as one of BP's shining achievements last year. In the fourth quarter, it added more exploration acreage to its portfolio with offshore Brazil and offshore Ivory Coast. The company last year announced six discoveries, for a cumulative total of 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent, its largest since 2004.

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

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