BP slumps to $20.4bn as it accounts for the cost of Russia’s exit, but oil and gas profits soar | Economic news

BP announced a $20.4bn (£16.3bn) loss for the first quarter of the year as it booked a series of large charges related to its mid-war exit from Russia in Ukraine.

The company reported net profit of $6.25 billion for the January-March period – its highest in more than a decade – thanks to high oil and gas prices that had already proved lucrative before the invasion of Vladimir Putin.

But its bottom line was hit by a $24 billion writedown of its 19.75% stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft and two other joint ventures.

Britain’s BP said it was making a greater commitment to national energy security with an £18billion investment over the next eight years, which would include money for oil and gas from the North Sea – operations that would generate £1billion in tax for the UK Treasury this year. only.

But he said the investment would also include commitments to reduce operational emissions as part of his transition to tackle climate change as part of his net zero ambition for the Integrated Energy Society (IEC).

Chief executive Bernard Looney said: “We support Britain.”

He told investors: “In a quarter dominated by the tragic events in Ukraine and the volatility in the energy markets, BP has been focused on providing the reliable energy our customers need.

“Our decision in February to exit our stake in Rosneft resulted in the material non-cash charges and comprehensive loss that we announced today.

“But it hasn’t changed our strategy, our financial framework or our expectations for shareholder distributions.

“It is important that BP continues to perform and, step by step, we are progressing in the execution of our IEC strategy – producing resilient hydrocarbons to ensure energy security while investing with discipline in the energy transition. »

BP is keen to promote its role in energy security as the industry continues to face political demands for a windfall tax on profits after natural gas costs hit record highs.

BP also benefited from the highest oil prices in 14 years, although the values ​​of both have fluctuated wildly since Russian tanks first arrived in Ukraine in late February.

Its net profit figure of $6.25 billion compared to $4.1 billion in the previous quarter.

The company said it would reward shareholders by keeping its dividend at 5.46 cents per share and increasing its share buyback program to $1.5 billion per quarter.

The stock – up 20% since the start of the year – rose more than 3% at the open.

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