BP disappoints City despite surge in profits

BP logo is seen at a fuel station of British oil company BP in St. Petersburg

BP logo is seen at a fuel station of British oil company BP in St. Petersburg

It marked the best year for production since 2010.

Brian Gilvary, BP's chief financial officer, said that the group's cash flows were now "back in balance" as it undertakes the start of its programme to buy back the shares it paid out to shareholders in lieu of dividends during the oil market rout.

BP began share buybacks in the fourth quarter, spending $343 million, fully offsetting the dilution from scrip dividends issued in the third quarter. "We are entering the second year of our five-year plan with a real impetus, more and more confident that we can continue to grow", added he. It is set to inaugurate 5 additional projects this year including in Egypt, Azerbaijan and the UK North Sea that will help it boost its production by 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) by 2020, which will be mostly gas.

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Exploration delivered the most successful year for BP since 2004, with around 1 billion barrel of equivalent resources discovered. Its reserve replacement ratio was estimated at 143% for the year.

Oil major beat earnings expectations on Tuesday, highlighting a surge in refining and trading during the final three months of 2017.

Operating cashflow amounted to $6.2bn and $24.1bn for the fourth quarter and the full year respectively.

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Operating cash flow for 2017, excluding Gulf of Mexico oil spill payments, was $24.1 billion, compared with $17.6 billion in 2016, BP said.

BP took a $900 million charge for U.S.

"The results primarily reflected higher oil prices", the London-listed giant said.

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BP Plc (LON:BP) has boasted of "strong delivery and growth" in the fourth quarter of 2017, highlighted by improved upstream production and underlying profit, meanwhile, a further US$1.7bn charge associated with the Gulf of Mexico meant the group reported only a small profit. On an annual basis, BPs profits spiked to $US6.2 billion from $US2.6 billion in 2016.

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