BP back in Q1 profit after record loss on Russia exit

BP back in Q1 profit after record loss on Russia exit

BP back in Q1 profit after record loss on Russia exit

British energy giant BP reported Tuesday a net profit of $8.2 billion for the first quarter, recovering from a record loss a year earlier as it ended operations in Russia after the Ukraine invasion.

The company had posted for the first three months of 2022 its biggest quarterly loss ever, at $20.4 billion after taxes, after Moscow’s assault on Ukraine and subsequent Western sanctions forced its exit from Russian business.

It resulted in a pre-tax charge of $25.5 billion from abandoning its 19.75 percent stake in energy group Rosneft, ending more than three decades of BP’s investment in Russia.

That wiped out the positive effect of surging energy prices that were driven by tighter supplies following international efforts to isolate Russia.

The company added that it would return $1.75 billion to shareholders.

BP also revealed that underlying profit dropped by one fifth to $5 billion, reflecting lower energy prices compared with one year earlier.

The earnings update also sparked strong reactions from activists, unhappy at BP’s huge profits as consumers continue to face a cost-of-living crisis, largely owing to soaring energy bills caused by the Ukraine invasion.

Major oil and gas firms are seeking to pivot toward cleaner energy and away from fossil fuels, but BP had to face down last week a shareholder revolt over its decision to slow its energy transition.

The company’s plans have sparked deep scepticism from environmental groups that accuse it of greenwashing and doing too little, too late - while profiteering from soaring energy prices.

BP said in February that it expected to boost its profits between now and 2030 by investing more in both renewable energy and traditional hydrocarbons.