BP reports one of its strongest quarters in years

Excluding its share of Russia's Rosneft, BP pumped 2.581 million barrels a day in the fourth quarter, up from 2.186 million barrels a day a year earlier.

"The past year was one of the strongest in the BP's recent history", said the CEO of BP, Bob Dudley. "And we did all this while maintaining safe and reliable operations", Dudley added.

In mid-January the company said it would be expected a USD1.7 billion fourth quarter charge related to Deepwater Horizon, the oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico which exploded in 2010, and this charge was booked as expected.

By 2021 the oil giant anticipates the addition of 900,000 barrels per day, a 35 percent increase on their average 2015 portfolio.

Despite doubling profits, BP's share price fell down 0.45 percent, trading at 480p, as of 12:30 pm (GMT).

The Zohr natural gas project in Egypt was counted as one of BP's shining achievements past year.

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For the full year, production costs per barrel tumbled by 16% to $7.11 (£5.09), with BP's output reaching its highest level since the year of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Adjusted net income of $2.11 billion beat analysts' expectations of $1.95 billion.

BP had also guided at the start of January that it would be including a USD1.50 billion charge related to U.S. tax reform against 2017's fourth quarter, and the company said Tuesday it had included a charge of USD900.0 million in fourth quarter results, down from guidance. "2018 should be a year where operating cash flow can cover cash capex, full cash dividend and Macondo payments without disposal proceeds".

BP took a one-off charge of $900 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 to adjust to new US tax rules, though it expects a long-term boost from the corporate-friendly rates.

Brian Gilvary, BP's chief financial officer, said that the group's cash flows were now "back in balance" as it undertakes the start of its programme to buy back the shares it paid out to shareholders in lieu of dividends during the oil market rout.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, the company bought back shares worth 343 million United States dollars.

  • Rita Burton