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Fourth quarter 2023 results

6 February 2024

2023: A year of delivery


  • Resilient financial and operational performance: 2023 Operating cash flow $32.0bn; net debt reduced to $20.9bn
  • Executing with discipline: Started up four major projects* in 2023, including Seagull in 4Q; Acquisition of TravelCenters ofAmerica; Agreement to acquire Lightsource bp
  • Growing shareholder distributions: Dividend per ordinary share 7.270 cents per share +10% versus 4Q22; 4Q23 $1.75bn share buyback announced; committed to announcing $3.5bn share buyback for the first half of 2024
  • IOC to IEC - destination is unchanged: we will deliver as a simpler and more focused company
Financial summary
$ million
Fourth quarter 2023 Third quarter 2023 Fourth quarter 2022 Year 2023 Year 2022
Profit (loss) for the period attributable to bp shareholders 371 4,858 10,803 15,239 (2,487)
Inventory holding (gains) losses*, net of tax 1,155 (1,212) 1,066 944 (1,019)
Replacement cost (RC) profit (loss)* 1,526 3,646 11,869 16,183 (3,506)
Net (favourable) adverse impact of adjusting items*, net of tax 1,465 (353) (7,062) (2,347) 31,159
Underlying RC profit* 2,991 3,293 4,807 13,836 27,653
Operating cash flow* 9,377 8,747 13,571 32,039 40,932
Capital expenditure* (4,711) (3,603) (7,369) (16,253) (16,330)
Divestment and other proceeds(a) 300 655 614 1,843 3,123
Surplus cash flow* 2,755 3,107 4,985 7,876 19,065
Net issue (repurchase) of shares (1,350)
(2,047) (3,240) (7,918) (9,996)
Net debt*(b) 20,912 22,324 21,422 20,912 21,422
Return on average capital employed (ROACE)* (%) - - - 18.1% 30.5%
Adjusted EBITDA* 10,568 10,306 13,100 43,710 60,747
Adjusted EBIDA* - - - 34,345 45,695
Announced dividend per ordinary share (cents per share) 7.270 7.270 6.610 28.420 24.082
Underlying RC profit per ordinary share* (cents) 17.77 19.14 26.44 79.69 145.63
Underlying RC profit per ADS* (dollars) 1.07 1.15 1.59 4.78 8.74


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.
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
(a) Divestment proceeds are disposal proceeds as per the condensed group cash flow statement. See page 3 for more information on other proceeds.
(b) See Note 9 for more information.
RC profit (loss), underlying RC profit (loss), surplus cash flow, net debt, ROACE, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBIDA, underlying RC profit per ordinary share and underlying RC profit per ADS are non-IFRS measures. Inventory holding (gains) losses and adjusting items are non-IFRS adjustments.
* For items marked with an asterisk throughout this document, definitions are provided in the Glossary on page 34.

Further information




bp press office, London: +44 (0)20 7496 4076, bppress@bp.com

Cautionary statement


In order to utilize the ‘safe harbor’ provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the ‘PSLRA’) and the general doctrine of cautionary statements, bp is providing the following cautionary statement:

The discussion in this results announcement contains certain forecasts, projections and forward-looking statements - that is,statements related to future, not past events and circumstances - with respect to the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of bp and certain of the plans and objectives of bp with respect to these items. These statements may generally, but not always, be identified by the use of words such as ‘will’, ‘expects’, ‘is expected to’, ‘aims’, ‘should’, ‘may’, ‘objective’, ‘is likely to’,‘intends’, ‘believes’, ‘anticipates’, ‘plans’, ‘we see’ or similar expressions.


In particular, the following, among other statements, are all forward looking in nature: plans, expectations and assumptions regarding oil and gas demand, supply, prices or volatility; expectations regarding reserves; expectations regarding production and volumes;expectations regarding bp’s customers & products business; expectations regarding margins; expectations regarding turnaround and maintenance activity; expectations regarding financial performance, results of operations and cash flows; expectations regarding future project start-ups; bp’s plans regarding transforming to an IEC; price assumptions used in accounting estimates; bp’s plans and expectations regarding the amount and timing of share buybacks and dividends; plans and expectations regarding bp’s credit rating,including in respect of maintaining a strong investment grade credit rating and targeting further improvements in credit metrics;plans and expectations regarding the allocation of surplus cash flow to share buybacks and strengthening the balance sheet; plans and expectations with respect to the total depreciation, depletion and amortization and the other businesses & corporate underlying annual charge for 2024; plans and expectations regarding LNG sales; plans and expectations regarding investments, collaborations and partnerships in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and generative artificial intelligence; plans and expectations related to bp’s transition growth engines, including expected capital expenditures; expectations relating to bp’s development of its wind pipeline, including pursuit of US offshore wind opportunities; plans and expectations regarding the amount or timing of payments related to divestment and other proceeds, and the timing, quantum and nature of certain acquisitions and divestments; expectations regarding the underlying effective tax rate for 2024, exposure to Pillar Two income taxes and the tax impacts of UK regulations,including the UK Energy Profits Levy and the reduction in the authorized surplus payments charge applicable to defined benefit pension schemes; expectations regarding the timing and amount of future payments relating to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill; plans and expectations regarding capital expenditure for 2024; expectations regarding greenhouse gas emissions; expectations regarding legal proceedings, including those related to the Louisiana coastal restoration and climate change; plans and expectations regarding bp-operated projects and ventures, and its projects, joint ventures, partnerships and agreements with commercial entities and other third party partners, including expectations related to the restructuring of the Atlantic LNG joint venture.By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will or may occur in the future and are outside the control of bp.

Actual results or outcomes, may differ materially from those expressed in such statements, depending on a variety of factors,including: the extent and duration of the impact of current market conditions including the volatility of oil prices, the effects of bp’s plan to exit its shareholding in Rosneft and other investments in Russia, overall global economic and business conditions impactingbp’s business and demand for bp’s products as well as the specific factors identified in the discussions accompanying such forward looking statements; changes in consumer preferences and societal expectations; the pace of development and adoption of alternative energy solutions; developments in policy, law, regulation, technology and markets, including societal and investor sentiment related to the issue of climate change; the receipt of relevant third party and/or regulatory approvals; the timing and level of maintenance and/or turnaround activity; the timing and volume of refinery additions and outages; the timing of bringing new fields onstream; the timing, quantum and nature of certain acquisitions and divestments; future levels of industry product supply, demand and pricing, including supply growth in North America and continued base oil and additive supply shortages; OPEC+ quota restrictions; PSA and TSC effects; operational and safety problems; potential lapses in product quality; economic and financial market conditions generally or in various countries and regions; political stability and economic growth in relevant areas of the world;changes in laws and governmental regulations and policies, including related to climate change; changes in social attitudes and customer preferences; regulatory or legal actions including the types of enforcement action pursued and the nature of remedies sought or imposed; the actions of prosecutors, regulatory authorities and courts; delays in the processes for resolving claims;amounts ultimately payable and timing of payments relating to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill; exchange rate fluctuations; development and use of new technology; recruitment and retention of a skilled workforce; the success or otherwise of partnering; the actions of competitors, trading partners, contractors, subcontractors, creditors, rating agencies and others; bp’s access to future credit resources; business disruption and crisis management; the impact on bp’s reputation of ethical misconduct and non-compliance with regulatory obligations; trading losses; major uninsured losses; the possibility that international sanctions or other steps taken by competent authorities or any other relevant persons may impact bp’s ability to sell its interests in Rosneft, or the price for which it could sell such interests; the actions of contractors; natural disasters and adverse weather conditions; changes in public expectations and other changes to business conditions; wars and acts of terrorism; cyber-attacks or sabotage; and those factors discussed under “Principal risks and uncertainties” in bp’s Report on Form 6-K regarding results for the six-month period ended 30 June 2023 as filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) as well as those factors discussed under “Risk factors” in bp’s Annual Report and Form 20-F for fiscal year 2022 as filed with the SEC.


This announcement contains inside information. The person responsible for arranging the release of this announcement on behalf of BP p.l.c. is Ben Mathews, Company Secretary.