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  5. 4Q 2023 quarterly results

4Q 2023 quarterly results

bp delivered strong underlying financial performance in 2023, raising the dividend by 10% and buying back $7.9 billion of shares, with net debt falling to its lowest level over the past decade

Access the results presentation

4Q at a glance

The key numbers from our fourth quarter and full year 2023 results

For the latest updates on projects and progress, see this quarter’s highlights from bp
bp's fourth quarter and full year 2023 results highlights
bp's fourth quarter and full year 2023 results highlights
Murray Auchincloss, chief executive officer
“Looking back, 2023 was a year of strong operational performance with real momentum in delivery right across the business. And as we look ahead, our destination remains unchanged – from IOC to IEC – focused on growing the value of bp. We are confident in our strategy, on delivering as a simpler, more focused and higher-value company, and committed to growing long-term value for our shareholders.” Murray Auchincloss, chief executive officer


Underlying replacement cost profit* $3.0 billion


  • Underlying replacement cost profit for the quarter was $3.0 billion, compared with $3.3 billion for the previous quarter. Compared to the third quarter 2023, the result reflects a strong gas marketing and trading result, higher oil realizations including the favourable impact of price-lags on Gulf of Mexico and UAE realizations, higher gas realizations, significantly lower industry refining margins albeit with a smaller decrease in realized refining margins, a weak oil trading result, higher exploration write-offs, and a higher level of refining turnaround activity. An underlying effective tax rate (ETR)* of 42% in the fourth quarter brings the full year underlying ETR to 39%.
  • Reported profit for the quarter was $0.4 billion, compared with $4.9 billion for the third quarter 2023. The reported result for the fourth quarter is adjusted for inventory holding losses* of $1.2 billion (net of tax) and a net adverse impact of adjusting items* of $1.5 billion (net of tax) to derive the underlying replacement cost profit. Adjusting items pre-tax include impairments of $4.6 billion, largely as a result of changes in the group's price and discount rate assumptions, activity phasing, economic forecasts (in particular related to the Gelsenkirchen refinery) and portfolio composition, and favourable fair value accounting effects* of $2.6 billion.

Operating cash flow* $9.4 billion and net debt* reduced to $20.9 billion

  • Operating cash flow in the quarter of $9.4 billion includes a working capital* release (after adjusting for inventory holding losses, fair value accounting effects and other adjusting items) of $2.1 billion (see page 28).
  • Capital expenditure* in the fourth quarter was $4.7 billion and total 2023 capital expenditure, including inorganic capital expenditure* was $16.3 billion.
  • The $1.5 billion share buyback programme announced with the third quarter results was completed on 2 February 2024.
  • Net debt was reduced by $1.4 billion to $20.9 billion at the end of the fourth quarter.

Further $1.75 billion share buyback announced for 4Q23; $3.5 billion for first half 2024

  • A resilient dividend is bp’s first priority within its disciplined financial frame, underpinned by a cash balance point* of around $40 per barrel Brent, $11 per barrel RMM and $3 per mmBtu Henry Hub (all 2021 real). For the fourth quarter, bp has announced a dividend per ordinary share of 7.270 cents, up 10% from the fourth quarter of 2022.
  • bp is committed to maintaining a strong investment grade credit rating. Through the cycle, we are targeting to further improve our credit metrics within an 'A' grade credit range.
  • bp continues to invest with discipline and a returns focused approach in our transition growth engines* and in our oil, gas and refining businesses. For 2024 and 2025 we expect capital expenditure of around $16 billion per annum, in line with our medium term target of $14-18 billion.
  • Related to the fourth quarter results, bp intends to execute a $1.75 billion share buyback prior to reporting first quarter results. Furthermore, bp is committed to announcing $3.5 billion for the first half of 2024. At current market conditions and subject to maintaining a strong investment grade credit rating, bp plans share buybacks of at least $14 billion through 2025 as part of our commitment, on a point forward basis, to returning at least 80% of surplus cash flow* to shareholders.
  • In setting the dividend per ordinary share and buyback each quarter, the board will continue to take into account factors including the cumulative level of and outlook for surplus cash flow, the cash balance point and maintaining a strong investment grade credit rating. 

Continued progress in transformation to an integrated energy company

  • In resilient hydrocarbons, bp announced the start-up of major project* Seagull, expected to add around 15 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day of net production by 2025. In Gulf of Mexico bp sanctioned Argos Southwest Expansion project and expansion of the Great White development project. In Brazil, bp was awarded the Tupinambá block located in the Santos pre-salt basin. Under aim 4, we met our first goal of deploying our methane measurement approach to all our operated upstream oil and gas assets by the end of 2023.
  • In convenience and mobility, bp continued to progress its convenience strategy, delivering a record convenience gross margin* for a fourth quarter, bringing full year to 9%(a) excluding TravelCenters of America, underpinned by customer offers driving stronger margin mix, continued roll-out of strategic conveniences sites*, and strategic convenience partnerships. bp and Iberdrola formed a joint venture to accelerate EV charging infrastructure roll-out in Spain and Portugal, with plans to invest up to €1 billion and install 5,000 fast EV charge points* by 2025 and around 11,700 by 2030.
  • In low carbon energy, bp has agreed to acquire the 50.03% interest it does not already own in Lightsource bp, one of the world’s leading developers and operator of utility-scale solar and battery storage assets. This transaction is expected to complete in the second half of 2024, subject to regulatory approvals.
  • In November, bp announced that it will be expanding the use of generative AI through the use of Copilot for Microsoft 365 - bp is one of the first companies globally to act as a launch partner for 'intelligent AI assistant'.
(a) Nearest equivalent IFRS measure: Replacement cost profit (loss) before interest and tax for the customers & products segment is -52% for 2023 compared with 2022. Convenience gross margins are at constant foreign exchange – values are at end 2023 foreign exchange rates, excluding TravelCenters of America and adjusting for other portfolio changes.

Results presentation

Chief executive officer, Murray Auchincloss and chief financial officer, Kate Thomson hosted a webcast covering our results for the fourth quarter and full year 2023. The results presentation was followed by a question and answer session.


Useful links

Dates and details of dividend payments as well as our results and presentations archive including related press releases dating back to 2005