BP has joined Big Oil’s profits bonanza, reporting record underlying earnings in its third quarter, powered by soaring gas prices.
The energy giant technically reported losses of £1.9bn ($2.2bn) overall for the three month window, weighed down by adjustments for tax and accounting of $8.1bn and $10.1bn respectively.
However, its has achieved hefty underlying profits of £7.1bn ($8.2bn) powered by soaring gas revenues over the the three month window.
This is almost triple the profit it made for the same period last year and beats City expectations.
Gas prices have surged to record levels, driving the company’s performance, amid a Russian squeeze on energy supplies into the continent over the summer.
Overall, its global profits for the first nine months have jumped to $22.8bn from $8.7bn in the previous year.
The company has also driven down its net debt to $22bn with operating cash flow climbing to $8.3bn.
Earnings were also up on the previous quarter of trading when it secured £6.95bn ($8.5bn) in underlying profits
Its profits were weighed down slightly by headwinds in the oil sector.
The company has also grappling with weaker refinery margins and oil’s slide across both major benchmarks amid reduced demand.
However, prices were still above $90 per barrel, ensuring oil remained a strong earner.
Pressure builds on BP to pay more tax
During the third quarter, BP also completed share buybacks of $2.9 billion.
It has now announced a further $2.5bn in buybacks for the current window trading.
Bernard Looney, chief executive of BP, 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.”
BP has committed £18bn in spending to the UK over the current decade, chiefly in low and zero carbon power.
Around 15 per cent of its revenues are generated domestically every year in the UK.
It has also ditched its Russian assets following the invasion of Ukraine – at a hefty $25bn writedown cost.
Nevertheless, its third successive monster window of trading is likely to empower calls for the windfall tax to be extended.
BP revealed it expected to pay £695m ($800m) in windfall taxes this year.
The Government is reportedly weighing up extending the Energy Profits Levy, while Labour is calling for investment relief to be scrapped and the windfall tax to be backdated.
Shell recently unveiled its own monster window of trading, while rivals ExxonMobil, Equinor, Chevron, and Total Energies have also revealed bumper earnings.
Meanwhile, the world’s biggest oil major Saudi Aramco unveiled massive profits of over $40bn in its second quarter.