BP posts 6% profit rise on higher oil prices

29-07-2008

BP posts 6% profit rise on higher oil prices
BP has posted a six per cent profit rise to $6.8 billion for the second quarter on the higher price of oil.

The replacement cost profit before interest and tax, which strips out exceptional items, for the second quarter was $10.77 billion, 51 per cent higher than last year, which BP said was primarily due to higher oil and gas realisations.

The results also included higher earnings from its troubled Russian joint venture TNK-BP.

The company made little other mention of the business, which is jointly owned by BP and Russian shareholders, other than to say: "BP continues to work to resolve these matters.

"However, currently, it is not possible to predict the ultimate outcome if these matters remain unresolved."

Although the company is run by BP executive Robert Dudley, he has fled the country due to a row over his visa and is now operating from a secret location.

During the quarter, BP said it had exploration success in the North Sea with the Kinnoull discovery, in which the company has a 77 per cent stake.

BP also acquired three exploration licences in the Canadian Beaufort Sea and recently received permission to develop a series of deepwater oil discoveries in offshore Angola.

However, BP said production costs had risen over the period and taxes were higher.

Trade union Unite criticised the profits. Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of Unite, said: "While ordinary working people struggle to make ends meet, BP's boardroom is wading through knee-deep profits.

"It is high time that our government moved to stop these fuel corporates picking the pockets of the poor and needy.

"A windfall tax now would ensure that the money was there to help the old and vulnerable through these tough times. Tax the fuel companies now so that those who helped to create these mega-profits get their rightful share of them."

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