BP has notched up its highest quarterly profits for more than a decade — fuelling demands for a windfall tax on oil and gas companies.
The company’s underlying profits more than doubled to $6.2 billion (£4.9 billion), helped by soaring energy prices.
There was a bottom-line loss of $23 billion after it ditched its near-20% stake in oil giant Rosneft following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
But BP’s bumper operational earnings were far ahead of analysts’ expectations of $4.5 billion (£3.6 billion), prompting renewed calls for a profits tax.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told the BBC that its profits ‘reinforce the case that, with so many people struggling to pay their energy bills, we should have a windfall tax on oil and gas companies in the North Sea who have made more profit than they were expecting’.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: ‘BP is raking in eye-watering profits while millions of people struggle to pay the bills.’
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has so far distanced himself from the calls, urging companies instead to invest the cash back in the UK.
BP has unveiled plans to plough up to £18 billion into North Sea operations, while driving down emissions, and said it is working on a range of lower carbon energy projects which will create jobs in the UK.
Chief executive Bernard Looney insisted the group is ‘backing Britain’, adding: ‘We’re fully committed to the UK’s energy transition — providing reliable home-grown energy and, at the same time, focusing on the drive to net zero.’
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