BP has almost trebled its profits in the 1st 3 months of the year as the corporate titan attempts to recover from the slump in oil prices.
The British oil giant said it swung to profit in the 1rst quarter, benefiting from a roughly 60% increase in prices since the 1st quarter of 2016 and higher production volumes.
The results were the latest in a flurry of upbeat earnings from the world's biggest oil companies, several of which have enjoyed their most successful quarter in more than a year.
The improvement has left investors hopeful that the sector may be recovering following the tumble in oil prices after the summer of 2014.
BP said its replacement cost profit--a number analogous to the net income that U.S. oil companies report--was $1.4 billion in the 1st quarter, compared with a loss of $485 million in the comparable period a year earlier.
The results were some of the company's strongest since it announced a massive $20 billion deal to settle outstanding claims relating to its Gulf of Mexico blowout.
The pretax bill for the 2010 disaster that killed 11 workers and spilled millions of barrels of oil into the sea has reached nearly $63 billion, BP said.
The payments relating to the spill are expected to total between $4.5 billion and $5.5 billion in 2017, before falling to around $2 billion in 2018.
The company reported robust operating cash flow in the 1st quarter, which is expected to continue to improve.
Excluding payments related to the oil spill, the company's cash flow from operations improved to $4.4 billion in the 1st quarter, helping it maintain a dividend of 10 cents a share.
The company sees oil trading at $50-$55 a barrel in 2017, likely capped by stronger shale production in the U.S., Chief Financial Officer Gilvary said, despite efforts by the OPEC to curb output and boost prices.
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