BP shares rise after annual profits double

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BP said it more than doubled annual profits to $12.7bn (£9.7bn) last year – as it ramped up oil and gas output after buying US fracking assets.

The oil giant also shrugged off a recent fall in oil prices to post a 65% rise in fourth quarter profits to $3.5bn (£2.7bn).

Shares in the FTSE 100 company, a staple of many UK pension funds, rose 5%.

BP chief executive Bob Dudley said: “We now have a powerful track record of safe and reliable performance, efficient execution and capital discipline.”

The results follow stronger than expected earnings from rivals Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil and Chevron reported last week, thanks to higher production in US shale where big oil firms have invested billions in recent years.

They also come a day after industrial giant Ineos accused the British government of trying to shut down the UK’s nascent fracking industry by the back door and urging it to ease regulations governing the sector.

BP has been weighed down in recent years by settlements relating to the deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which have so far cost it nearly $70bn.

It has more recently focused on growing production into the next decade including the acquisition of $10.5bn worth of US shale assets from BHP Billiton, its biggest deal in 30 years.

That helped BP’s production climb to 3.7 million barrels of oil or equivalent per day.

(c) Sky News 2019: BP shares rise after annual profits double

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