BP commands a record of the year 2022 returns to join the Big Oil profit bonanza

February 8, 2023: On Tuesday, oil major BP reported record annual profits, more than doubling in the previous year’s total as fossil fuel prices zoomed following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The British energy company posted underlying replacement cost profit, used as a proxy for net gain, of $27.7 billion for 2022. That relation with $12.8 billion for the previous year.

BP announced a $2.75 billion share buyback, which it expects to complete before announcing its first-quarter 2023 results in early May. It also improved its dividend by 10% to 6.61 cents per ordinary share.

BP CEO Bernard Looney stated that earnings are “good results.”

“First, I hope you see a company performing well while transforming. We had the highest operations reliability in our history and the lowest production cost in 16 years, so the firm itself is running very well,” Looney told on Tuesday.

“Secondly, we also lean into our strategy today. We’re reporting up to $8 billion investment into the energy changes this decade and up to $8 billion into oil and gas in support of energy security and energy affordability in this decade,” he further said. “And thirdly, it’s about ensuring we return to our shareholders.”

BP added that fourth-quarter net debt decreased to $21.4 billion, down from $30.6 billion a year earlier compared to the same period.

On Thursday,

British rival Shell posted its highest-ever annual profit of almost $40 billion. Before that, U.S. oil company Exxon Mobil reported a $56 billion profit for 2022, which marks a historic high for the Western oil industry. Chevron’s 2022 profits are coming in at a record $36.5 billion.

The West’s significant fossil fuel companies are expected to have raked in combined profits of nearly $200 billion for the year, the Refinitiv data stated. On Wednesday, France’s TotalEnergies is slated to report full-year earnings.

The extraordinary earnings scale has renewed criticism of the oil and gas industry and started calls for higher taxes.

“People all over the country need look no further than their front door one of Britain’s own oil companies which has been making records profit while so many Brits facing hardship through no fault of their own,” stated Jonathan Noronha-Gant, senior campaigner at advocacy people Global Witness.

“Implementing a windfall tax to aid those who struggle financially, paired with a significant surge in renewable energy and home insulation, this can be the beginning of the end to the damaging fossil fuel period, both for people and the planet. BP is richer as you’re poorer,” Noronha-Gant said.

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