Commodities Buzz: BP Records One Of The Strongest Annual Performances In 2017

BP petrol station

The results reflect the benefits of higher oil prices on BP's business, oil is trading at $70 per barrel in the recent weeks -the highest level in three years.

BP said Tuesday its full-year profit for 2017 was $6.2 billion, compared with $2.6 billion the previous year.

Non-operating items in the fourth quarter, which are excluded from underlying profit, included a $0.9 billion charge for U.S. tax changes and a $1.7 billion post-tax charge relating to a further provision for claims associated with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Payments for the Deepwater Horizon incident and Gulf of Mexico oil spill continued to weigh on BP, bringing the total bill to date to $65 billion. "We enter the second year of our five-year plan with real momentum, increasingly confident that we can continue to deliver growth".

With a 20% bounce in oil prices in the last quarter of 2017 to $61 a barrel, BP had a surplus of cash that allowed it to buy $343m worth of shares in the fourth quarter, offsetting the scrip dilution.

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BP took a one-off charge of $900 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 to adjust to new US tax rules, though it expects a long-term boost from the corporate-friendly rates.

Exploration delivered the most successful year for BP since 2004, with around 1 billion barrel of equivalent resources discovered. On an annual basis, BPs profits spiked to $US6.2 billion from $US2.6 billion in 2016.

In 2017, BP managed to cover the costs and pay full dividends at oil prices of 50 Dollars per barrel. Net debt was $37.8bn, up from $35.5bn a year earlier, after the company paid $5.4bn related to the Deepwater Horizon spill.

CFO Brian Gilvary thinks crude oil prices are "ahead of where we expected them to be" and sees Brent correcting to $50-$55/bbl by year-end, which will keep a tight rein on BP's spending, with this year's capital budget capped at $15B-$16B vs. $16.5B last year.

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