BP Profit Beats Estimates, Highest in Years

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Helping drive this, along with higher oil prices, was a 6% rise in quarterly production, year-on-year, to 3.7 million barrels of oil equivalent per day which it said was supported by the continued ramp-up of major projects.

During the quarter, BP completed another 200 million United States dollars (£146 million) worth of divestments as it continues to sell off assets, and kept its guidance for between 2 billion USA dollars (£1.5 billion) and 3 billion U.S. dollars (£2.2 billion) over the full year. This tops their initial prediction of $2.2 billion according to to a company-provided analytics survey.

The London-based company reported net income of $2.47 billion, up from $1.45 billion in the same period previous year.

"We have delivered another strong set of results", said chief executive Bob Dudley.

Underlying profits were also up, with BP posting an underlying recurring cost profit of almost $2.6 billion, up from $1.5 billion a year earlier. Brent crude averaged $66.82 in the first quarter, 24 percent higher than a year earlier. With rising output from our new major projects and excellent reliability, Upstream production was 9% higher than a year earlier.

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"Over the longer term, our new lower carbon ambitions, including clear targets for our own emissions, will help ensure that all of BP is also focused on advancing the energy transition". That's the highest total production since the fourth quarter of 2010.

Looking ahead, the company expects Upstream segment's second-quarter reported production to be lower sequentially, reflecting the expiration of the Abu Dhabi offshore concession and seasonal turnaround and maintenance activities.

Downstream (refining) adjusted pretax profits were essentially flat year over year at $1.71 billion. BP's US shares closed Monday at 44.59, just below a 44.72 cup-base buy point briefly cleared last week.

But the group continued to count the cost of its 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico, with another $1.6bn (£1.2bn) forked out in the first quarter - including $1.2bn (£873m) for the final payment of its 2012 settlement with the Department of Justice. "Cash flow was good but messy, with less cash tax paid than expected". Still, the supermajor made a decision to leave dividend unchanged at US$0.10 per share and continue with its share buybacks launched when oil prices began to improve to reassure investors the worst is over.

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