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Oil giant BP triples its profits to $9.3 billion on last year despite exit from Russia

BP is the latest energy firm to post bumper earnings as oil and gas prices have soared following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

BRITISH OIL GIANT BP returned to profit in the second quarter of this year on the back of soaring energy prices, following a big loss due to its exit from Russia over the war in Ukraine.

The company reported a net profit of $9.3 billion — a threefold increase from the same three-month period last year — following a $20.4-billion loss in the first quarter.

BP is the latest energy firm to post bumper earnings as oil and gas prices have soared following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

British rival Shell reported last week a fivefold surge in second-quarter profit to $18 billion while France’s TotalEnergies raked in $6 billion over the same period.

BP said in its earnings statement that it expects oil prices “to remain elevated in the third quarter due to ongoing disruption to Russian supply, reduced levels of spare capacity and with inventory levels significantly below the five year average”.

Oil prices tumbled yesterday following surprisingly weak China manufacturing data.

China’s closely-watched Purchasing Managers’ Index of manufacturing activity shrank in July as the result of weak demand and the strict zero-Covid measures imposed in parts of the country.

The index, a key gauge of manufacturing activity in the world’s second-biggest economy, came in at 49.0 in July, down from 50.2 June and below the 50-point mark separating growth from contraction, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

While sweeping curbs have eased in major hubs such as Shanghai and Beijing, sporadic lockdowns in other cities and towns have kept businesses and consumers worried with few signs of the policy easing.

“Oil prices were under pressure after weak Chinese manufacturing figures which really show the continuing impact of lockdowns on the country’s economy,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

The OPEC+ group of oil exporters will meet tomorrow to discuss another output increase, weeks after US President Joe Biden sought to persuade Saudi Arabia to boost production during a controversial visit to the country.

The White House has been pressing the oil cartel to step up production to tame prices that have surged since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.

But the group, which is led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, has stuck to modest increases so far. 

The burning of oil along with other fossil fuels is driving increases in global temperatures, putting the world at major risk from the climate crisis.

Scientists have clearly laid out that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced quickly and substantially to avoid climate catastrophe.

© AFP 2022

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