BP Triples Profit in Q1 on Stronger Oil Prices & Natural Gas Trading Revenues

27 April 2021

    BP's profit has more than tripled to $2.6 billion in Q1, thanks to stronger oil prices and revenue from natural gas trading, putting the company on the right track to resume share buybacks.


    The jump in profits from a year earlier came as BP said it expected oil demand to recover in 2021 due to strong growth in the US and China as COVID-19 vaccination programmes pick up speed.


    In a sign of confidence in the recovery of its operations following a year of cutting costs, headcount and its dividend, BP said it will buy back $500 million of shares in Q2 in order to offset the effect from an employee share distribution programme.


    The energy company’s debt has dropped $5.6 billion from the end of December, to $33.3 billion at the end of March, largely due to around $4.8 billion worth of disposals and stronger oil prices. That pushed debt below the company's $35 billion target sooner than expected, allowing it to proceed with its share buyback plan. 


    The company said it would provide an update on the Q3  buyback programme later this year.


    BP's shares were 3% higher in early trading, adding to a more than 15% gain so far this year. It still, however, remains one of the  weakest performers among the oil majors, with shares around a third lower than their pre-pandemic level. 

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