BP records highest profit in eight years in 2021
BP has reported a profit of $12.8 billion in 2021, the highest in eight years, as natural gas and oil prices soared and the global economy recovered from the pandemic slump.
“2021 shows BP doing what we said we would – performing while transforming,” chief executive Bernard Looney said in a statement.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, BP’s underlying replacement cost profit, the company’s definition of net earnings, reached $4.1 billion, exceeding analysts’ expectations for a $3.93 billion profit.
That compares with $3.32 billion in profit in the third quarter and $115m a year earlier.
The quarterly results were supported by higher oil and gas prices and production which was partly offset by weaker oil trading results and the impact of higher energy costs on operations such as refining, the company said.
Natural gas and electricity prices around the world have soared since the middle of last year on tight gas supplies and higher demand as economies rebounded from the pandemic.
Benchmark European gas prices and Asian LNG prices hit all-time highs in the fourth quarter.
For the year, BP reported a profit of $12.85 billion, compared with a loss of $5.7 billion in 2020, which came after BP wrote off the value of its oil and gas assets by $6.5 billion amid a slump in energy demand due to the pandemic.
BP’s debt fell sharply to $30.6 billion by the end of last year, down by $8.3 billion from a year earlier.