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Tap Oil Fields, Not Our Emergency Reserves, To Lower Energy Prices

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BP Boosts Buybacks As Q3 Profit Doubles To $8.2 Billion

BP (NYSE: BP) announced a further $2.5 billion share buyback after more than doubling its Q3 profit from a year earlier, thanks to what it described as an “exceptional” gas marketing and trading result and higher gas realizations.  

BP joined other international oil and gas majors in reporting very strong earnings after it reported on Tuesday an underlying replacement cost profit - its metric for net profit - of $8.2 billion for the third quarter. This was slightly lower than the $8.5 billion for the previous quarter, which saw the highest quarterly profit for BP in over a decade, but more than double the $3.3 billion in earnings for the third quarter of 2021.  

“Compared to the second quarter, the result was impacted by weaker refining margins, an average oil trading result and lower liquids realizations, partly offset by an exceptional gas marketing and trading result and higher gas realizations,” the UK supermajor said in a statement. BP said its oil trading performance in Q3 was “average” after an “exceptional” result in Q2.

“Net debt fell for the tenth successive quarter; we are investing with discipline; and we are delivering on our commitment to shareholder distributions – announcing a further $2.5 billion share buyback,” chief financial officer Murray Auchincloss said.

Chief executive officer Bernard Looney said, “This quarter’s results reflect us continuing to perform while transforming. We remain focused on helping to solve the energy trilemma – secure, affordable and lower carbon energy. We are providing the oil and gas the world needs today – while at the same time - investing to accelerate the energy transition.”

Based on BP’s current forecasts, at around $60 per barrel Brent and subject to the board’s discretion each quarter, BP continues to expect to be able to deliver share buybacks of around $4.0 billion annually and have the capacity for an annual increase in the dividend of around 4% through 2025.

BP, the last of Big Oil to report earnings for Q3, joined the other majors in posting strong earnings amid growing calls for windfall taxes on the industry’s profits. U.S. President Joe Biden said on Monday that the record profits of the likes of Exxon and Shell were “a windfall of war” and if oil companies don’t increase output, “they’re going to pay a higher tax on their excess profits and face other restrictions.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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