The FINANCIAL — “We have delivered another strong set of results. Our safe and reliable operations and strong financial delivery have continued into 2018. Underlying profit was up 23% on the previous quarter and was our best quarterly result in three years. With rising output from our new major projects and excellent reliability, Upstream production was 9% higher than a year earlier.
“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,” Bob Dudley – Group chief executive.
Underlying replacement cost profit for the first quarter of 2018 was $2.6 billion, compared with $1.5 billion for the same period in 2017, a rise of 71%.
Operating cash flow excluding Gulf of Mexico oil spill payments* in the quarter was $5.4 billion including a $1.8 billion negative impact from an increase in working capital ($1.7 billion after adjusting for inventory holding gains) driven by higher oil prices and seasonal inventory builds.
Upstream reported the strongest quarter since third quarter 2014 on both a replacement cost and underlying basis.
Reported oil and gas production was 3.7 million barrels of oil equivalent a day in the quarter, 6% higher than the first quarter of 2017. Upstream production, excluding Rosneft, was 9% higher, supported by continued ramp up of major projects. Upstream plant reliability was 96% for the quarter.
First Upstream major project of 2018, Atoll in Egypt, started production; to date in 2018, final investment decisions have been taken on four new projects – in Oman, India and two in the UK North Sea.
Continued Downstream earnings growth with strong refining availability in the US.
Gulf of Mexico oil spill payments in the quarter were $1.6 billion on a pre-tax basis, including $1.2 billion for the final payment relating to the 2012 Department of Justice settlement.
BP continued its share buyback programme in the quarter, buying 18 million shares for a cost of $120 million.
Dividend unchanged at 10 cents per share.