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4Q 2021 quarterly results

Our results for the full year show we’re doing what we said we would – performing while transforming to an integrated energy company - strengthening the balance sheet, growing returns and investing for the future

Access the results presentation

4Q at a glance

The key numbers from our fourth quarter and full year 2021 results

For the latest updates on projects and progress, see this quarter’s highlights from bp

Results at a glance

bp's fourth quarter and full year 2021 results highlights
bp's fourth quarter and full year 2021 results highlights

“2021 shows bp doing what we said we would - performing while transforming. We've strengthened the balance sheet and grown returns. We're delivering distributions to shareholders with $4.15 billion of buybacks announced and the dividend increased. And we're investing for the future. We've made strong progress in our transformation to an integrated energy company: focusing and high grading our hydrocarbons business, growing in convenience and mobility and building with discipline a low carbon energy business - now with over 5GW in offshore wind projects - and significant opportunities in hydrogen.” 

Bernard Looney, chief executive officer


Underlying results and cash flow

  •   Underlying replacement cost profit* for the quarter was $4.1 billion, compared with $3.3 billion for the previous quarter. This result was driven by higher oil and gas realizations, higher upstream* production volumes and stronger refining commercial optimization, partly offset by a significantly lower oil trading result and an average contribution from gas marketing and trading and the impact of higher energy costs.
  • Reported profit for the quarter was $2.3 billion, compared with a loss of $2.5 billion for the third quarter 2021. The reported result includes adjusting items* before tax of $3.0 billion with net impairments of $1.1 billion and adverse fair value accounting effects* of $0.9 billion primarily due to further increases in forward gas prices compared to the third quarter. 
  • Operating cash flow* of $6.1 billion includes a working capital* build of $2.2 billion (after adjusting for inventory holding gains* and fair value accounting effects).
  • bp received $7.6 billion of divestment and other proceeds in the full year including $2.3 billion during the fourth quarter. bp expects to receive proceeds of $2-3 billion in 2022.
  • For full year 2021 ROACE* was 13.3%.


Building a track-record of delivery against our disciplined financial frame


  • For the fourth quarter bp has announced a dividend of 5.46 cents per ordinary share payable in March 2022. 
  • Net debt* fell to $30.6 billion at the end of the fourth quarter – a reduction of $8.3 billion compared to fourth quarter 2020. 
  • Capital expenditure* in the fourth quarter and full year was $3.6 billion and $12.8 billion respectively. bp now expects capital expenditure of $14-15 billion in 2022 and continues to expect a range of $14-16 billion per annum through 2025. 
  • During 2021 bp generated surplus cash flow* of $6.3 billion.
  • Share buybacks of $1.725 billion were executed during the fourth quarter including $1.25 billion announced with third quarter results and $475 million to complete the buybacks announced with second quarter results.
  • bp intends to execute a further $1.5 billion share buyback from 2021 surplus cash flow prior to announcing its first quarter 2022 results. 
  • For 2022, and subject to maintaining a strong investment grade credit rating, bp is committed to using 60% of surplus cash flow for share buybacks and intends to allocate the remaining 40% to strengthen the balance sheet. 
  • On average, based on bp’s current forecasts, at around $60 per barrel Brent and subject to the board’s discretion each quarter, bp expects to be able to deliver share buybacks of around $4.0 billion per annum and have capacity for an annual increase in the dividend per ordinary share of around 4% through 2025.
  • In addition, to date in 2022, bp has executed a share buyback of $500 million to offset the expected full year dilution from the vesting of awards under employee share schemes in 2022. 
  • The board will take into account factors including the cumulative level of and outlook for surplus cash flow*, the cash balance point* and the maintenance of a strong investment grade credit rating in setting the dividend per ordinary share and the buyback each quarter.


Investing for the future - transforming to an Integrated Energy Company


  • In a separate announcement, bp has today provided an update on the significant progress made in executing its transformation to an IEC since outlining its new strategy. Since announcing third quarter results:
    • In resilient and focused hydrocarbons bp announced the start-up of Platina, offshore Angola – the seventh major project* start-up during the year. In addition, bp has taken further steps to drive portfolio competitiveness supporting the proposed acquisition of Lundin Energy's oil and gas business by Aker BP.
    • In convenience and mobility, bp acquired EV fleet charging provider AMPLY Power in the US, and in the UK, bp and Marks & Spencer agreed to extend their convenience partnership until at least 2030.
    • In low carbon bp has continued to advance its offshore wind strategy with the award of a lease option with 2.9GW gross potential in the Scotwind auction and finalizing offtake terms for the Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind 1 projects offshore New York. In addition, bp has announced plans for a new large-scale green hydrogen production facility in the UK - HyGreen Teeside - and formed a strategic partnership with Oman to progress an integrated project to deliver world-class scale renewable energy and green hydrogen.
* For items marked with an asterisk throughout this document, definitions are provided in the Glossary on page 35

Results presentation

bp's chief executive officer, Bernard Looney, and chief financial officer, Murray Auchincloss, presented our results for the fourth quarter and full year 2021 and update on strategic progress. The results presentation was followed by a question and answer session.

Fourth quarter and full year 2021 webcast presentation slides