Energy giant BP’s profits rise despite impact of weaker oil prices

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British energy giant, BP, said on Tuesday that first-quarter net profits jumped by almost a fifth, as rising production and lower costs eclipsed the impact of weaker oil prices.

Earnings after taxation rallied 19% to $2.9 billion (2.6 billion euros) in the three months to the end of March, BP said in a results statement.

That compared with $2.5 billion during the same period last year. Total oil and gas production rose 2.4% to 3.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

On the downside, underlying replacement cost profit, a widely-watched industry measure which excludes fluctuations in the value of crude oil inventories, slid nearly eight percent to $2.4 billion.

Chief executive Bob Dudley said that BP had enjoyed “solid” performances in both its downstream operations, which comprises refining, marketing and distribution and upstream activities that cover exploration and production.

“BP’s performance this quarter demonstrates the strength of our strategy,” says Dudley in the statement.

“With solid upstream and downstream delivery and strong trading results, we produced resilient earnings and cash flow through a volatile period that began with weak market conditions and included significant turnarounds.

“Moving through the year, we will keep our focus on disciplined growth, with efficient project execution and safe and reliable operations.”

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