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Anger as BP profits triple to $8.5bn amid soaring household energy bills

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BP joined the likes of Shell and Centrica in announcing record profits  (EPA)
BP joined the likes of Shell and Centrica in announcing record profits (EPA)

BP’s profit tripled to $8.5bn (£7bn) in the last quarter - a 14-year high - as families struggled to afford soaring household energy bills.

The oil giant on Tuesday announced the profits across April-June, up from $2.8bn in the second quarter of 2021 and even higher than the profit of $6.2bn it made in Q1, which was the highest for 10 years.

So far this year, BP has raked in $14.7bn - almost triple the $5.4bn in the first half of 2021

“BP continues to build a track record of delivery against its disciplined financial frame,” chief financial officer Murray Auchincloss said in a statement.

It comes after other energy giants Shell, Centrica and TotalEnergies were accused of reaping “obscene” profits last week off the back of struggling families who face massive increases in energy bills. Shell reported record earnings of $11.5bn, doubling its earnings in a single year.

This was up from $5.5bn in April-June 2021- marking a $6bn increase in profits- and up from $9.1 billion in the first quarter of 2022.

Oil giant Shell also announced record profits in Q2 (AP)
Oil giant Shell also announced record profits in Q2 (AP)

Shell recorded a fourteen-fold increase in quarterly profits earlier this year which reignited calls for a windfall tax to relieve the burden on struggling families during the worsening cost of living crisis.

Rachel Reeves MP, Labour's Shadow Chancellor, responding to BP announcing bumper profits as energy prices rise further, said: “People are worried sick about energy prices rising again in the autumn, but yet again we see eye-watering profits for oil and gas producers.

“Labour argued for months for a windfall tax on these companies to help bring bills down, but when the Tories finally u-turned they decided to hand billions of pounds back to producers in tax breaks. That is totally wrong.

“It's clear people need greater protection from rising bills. That's why Labour would use this money now to help people get through the winter.

“But we can't carry on like this. Labour would bring down energy bills for good with a green energy sprint for home-grown power, and a 10-year warm homes plan to cut bills for 19 million cold, draughty homes.”

British Gas owner Centrica also announced Q2 record profits (PA Archive)
British Gas owner Centrica also announced Q2 record profits (PA Archive)

BP’s chief exectuive Bernard Looney said the results show the company “continues to perform while transforming”.

“Our people have continued to work hard throughout the quarter helping to solve the energy trilemma – secure, affordable and lower carbon energy. We do this by providing the oil and gas the world needs today – while at the same time, investing to accelerate the energy transition,” he said in a statement.

The company’s result were better than expected and will stoke further controversy over massive profits from oil and energy firms.

But BP's reported half-year figures were affected by a massive $24.4 billion (£19.9 billion) hit from its move to ditch the firm's near-20 per cent stake in Russian oil producer Rosneft in response to the Ukraine war, leaving it with losses of $15.4 billion (£13 billion).

Commenting on the huge profits, Friends of the Earth campaigner, Sana Yusuf said a tougher windfall tax is needed on oil and gas firm profits.

“It beggars belief that these companies are raking in such huge sums in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis,” Ms Yusuf said. “The money raised should be used to help hard-up households with soaring energy bills and provide funding for a free home insulation programme - focusing on those most in need.

“It’s astonishing that energy efficiency has been given such a low priority. A nationwide insulation programme would cut bills, reduce energy-use and slash climate-changing emissions.”

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