BP says net profit almost trebles to $9.4 bn in 2018

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LONDON–BP almost trebled its annual net profit to $9.4 billion (8.2 billion euros) last year as oil prices soared in 2018, the British energy giant announced Tuesday. 

Profit after tax rocketed from $3.4 billion in 2017, "primarily affected by higher oil prices and favourable foreign exchange" rate changes, BP said in a statement. 

Fourth-quarter net profit stood at $766 million, up from $27 million in the final three months of 2017."We now have a powerful track record of safe and reliable performance, efficient execution and capital discipline," chief executive Bob Dudley said in the statement. 

"And we're doing this while growing the business -- bringing more high-quality projects online, expanding marketing in the downstream and doing transformative deals such as BHP." 

In 2018, the world's biggest miner BHP sold its US shale oil and gas operations to BP for $10.5 billion. Oil prices meanwhile surged in the latter part of 2018 on tight supply concerns but have since fallen back sharply, in line with volatility seen across financial markets. 

BP on Tuesday added that its full-year production of oil and gas grew 2.4 percent to 3.7 million barrels per day. It said that 2019 output was expected to be higher thanks to major production projects. 

"The actual reported outcome will depend on the exact timing of project start-ups, acquisition and divestment activities, OPEC quotas and entitlement impacts in our production-sharing agreements," BP said. 

Also last year, BP took a further hit of $3.2 billion in financial costs linked to a deadly explosion on a BP-leased drilling rig in 2010 that unleashed the worst environmental disaster in US history. 

It expects a further charge of $2.0 billion this year, taking BP's total bill so far for the Gulf of Mexico catastrophe to around $70 billion. BP rival Royal Dutch Shell last week posted an 80 percent increase in annual net to $23.4 billion on higher oil prices and big cost cutting. 


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