By The Financial District
BP Raises Dividend As Profit Shatters Ceiling
BP's second quarter profit soared to $8.45 billion, its highest in 14 years, as strong refining margins and trading prompted it to boost its dividend and spending on new oil and gas production, Ron Bousso and Shadia Nasralla reported for Reuters.
Photo Insert: The strong performance caps a blowout quarter for the top Western oil and gas companies on the back of soaring energy prices.
The strong performance caps a blowout quarter for the top Western oil and gas companies on the back of soaring energy prices that have increased pressure on governments to impose new taxes on the sector to help consumers.
"The company is running well and it continues to strengthen. We have real strategic momentum," Chief Executive Officer Bernard Looney told Reuters. BP shares were up 4.3% by 1315 GMT, hitting their highest levels since June and strongly outperforming the European energy index which was up 0.7%.
BP shares have gained 23% this year but are still some 10% below pre-pandemic levels.
Looney, who took office in 2020 with a vow to rapidly shift BP away from fossil fuels to renewables, said that the company will increase its spending on new oil and gas by $500 million in response to the global supply crunch.
"We will direct more investment towards hydrocarbons to help with energy security in the near term," Looney said.
"We'll probably direct about half a billion dollars for hydrocarbons." BP plans to maintain its overall capital expenditure this year in a range of $14 billion to $15 billion.
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