BP Exploration Alaska headquarters
Surging oil and gas prices last year helped BP post its highest profit since 2012, allowing the company to reduce debt and announce more share buybacks.
“Underlying replacement cost profit,” the company’s definition of net earnings, rose to $4.1 billion in the last quarter of 2021, above analysts’ estimates. Profit for the whole year jumped to $12.8 billion after a $5.7 billion loss the year before, the group said.
BP (ticker:BP ) also said it would accelerate its energy transition and increase its spending on low-carbon and renewables energy, adding it hopes to achieve net-zero emissions earlier than its 2050 goal. Capital spending will increase to $14-to-$15 billion this year, the group said.
The group promised $4.15 billion worth of buybacks for this year, $1.5 billion more than previously expected. “At around $60 oil, we have the capacity for around $4 billion per annum of share buybacks. So clearly (…) there is the opportunity for increased buybacks,” BP CEO Bernard Looney told Bloomberg TV.
BP’s bumper profits come after rivals such as Chevron (CVX), Exxon Mobil (EOM) and Shell (Shel.U.K.) earlier reported similar results, including plans to return part of the money to their shareholders in the form of buybacks.
BP shares were up 0.7% Tuesday morning in London. The stock is up 58% over the last year.