• BP second quarter profit above expectations at $2.8 billion

    Higher oil prices and increased output boosted BP’s second-quarter profit to $2.8 billion, four times that of a year ago.

    The company also confirmed it would increase its quarterly dividend for the first time in nearly four years, offering 10.25 cents a share.

    BP is turning a corner after the slump in oil prices and as it gradually shakes off a $65 billion bill for penalties and clean up costs of the deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill.

    Underlying replacement cost profit, the company’s definition of net income, exceeded forecasts of $2.7 billion, according to a company-provided survey of analysts.

    It earned $0.7 billion a year earlier and $2.6 billion in the first quarter.

    First-half production rose to 3,662 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, including output at Rosneft, from 3,544 mboe/d a year ago.

    Benchmark Brent crude futures, currently over $74 a barrel, have risen around 16 percent over the first half of 2018 and around 60 percent since June 30 2017.

    In its biggest deal in nearly 20 years, BP last week agreed to buy U.S. shale oil and gas assets from global miner BHP Billiton, for $10.5 billion, expanding the British oil major’s footprint in oil-rich onshore basins.

    BP is also buying back shares to the tune of $200 million in the first half of this year.

    In the second quarter, it paid off $700 million for the spill on a post-tax basis.

    Gearing, the ratio between debt and BP’s market value, declined to 27.8 percent at the end of the quarter from 28.1 percent at the end of March. Net debt was $39.3 billion at the end of June compared with $40 billion at the end of March. Brandon McManus Womens Jersey

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