BP has announced its first quarter results for 2018, with an underlying replacement cost profit of $2.6 billion – 71% up on the same quarter last year and its strongest for three years. Operating cash flow in the quarter was $5.4 billion, excluding post-tax Gulf of Mexico oil spill payments.
Group chief executive Bob Dudley says: “We have delivered another strong set of results. Our safe and reliable operations and strong financial delivery have continued into 2018.”
With the ramp-up from last year's seven new major projects, the Upstream segment delivered 14% growth in underlying production compared to the first quarter of 2017. Together with stronger oil prices, this growth resulted in underlying pre-tax earnings of $3.2 billion – the best result since the third quarter of 2014, when oil was trading at over $100 per barrel. By comparison, Brent crude averaged $67 in this quarter.
Highlights during the first part of the year have included the start-up of the first of six major projects – Atoll in Egypt – as well as four final investment decisions giving the go-ahead to developments in Oman, India and two in the UK North Sea.
The Downstream reported underlying pre-tax earnings of $1.8 billion for the first quarter, with sales of premium fuels up by 5% from last year and a new production record at BP’s petrochemicals plant in Zhuhai, China.
The retail business marked its first year of operations in Mexico, with 200 sites now open there.
Looking ahead, Dudley says: “Moving through 2018, we’re determined to keep delivering our operational targets and maintaining capital discipline while growing cash flow and returns.
“Over the longer term, our new lower carbon ambitions, including clear targets for our own emissions, will help ensure that all of BP is also focused on advancing the energy transition.”