BP becomes first European oil firm to resume share buybacks after oil slump

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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BP and other majors struggled during the oil price downturn (Source: Getty)

Oil major BP started a share buyback programme today, marking the first major European energy company to restart buybacks since oil prices crashed in 2014.

BP originally announced the buyback in its third-quarter results last month when it said it had brought its finances, including its full dividend, back into "organic balance" as profit doubled in the quarter.

The buyback programme has been set for between today and the date of BP's annual general meeting, with the maximum number of shares not to exceed 1.96bn.

It comes as BP recovers from the huge Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. The deadly spill cost the company more than $63bn (£47.8bn), and at the time BP said it would buy back the equivalent number of shares it was issuing as part of its scrip dividend scheme. Investors could choose to receive dividend payouts in shares rather than cash.

BP's shares jumped to a three-year high after it announced the share buyback in October.

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