British energy firm, BP has returned to profit for the first quarter of 2017, after posting losses for 2016.
Citing higher oil prices, BP posted a £1.1bn ($1.4bn) profit for the period ending March, a considerable turn around from the $485m loss posted for 2016.
In announcing the news to the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday, BP said in its results document;
"BP’s profit for the first quarter was $1,449 million, compared with a loss of $583 million for the same period in 2016. The first-quarter replacement cost (RC) profit was $1,412 million, compared with a loss of $485 million for the same period in 2016. After adjusting for a net charge for non-operating items of $305 million and net favourable fair value accounting effects of $207 million (both on a post-tax basis), underlying RC profit for the first quarter was $1,510 million, compared with $532 million for the same period in 2016."
Other key points highlighted by the firm include;
- Underlying replacement cost profit* for the first quarter was $1.5 billion.
- First quarter operating cash flow, excluding payments related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, of $4.4 billion. Including these payments, operating cash flow* was $2.1 billion.
- Dividend unchanged at 10 cents per share.
- Reported oil and gas production was 3.5mmboe/d in the first quarter, 5% higher than same period in 2016.
- New Upstream major projects* on track: Trinidad onshore compression project started up, another in ramp-up, and two more in commissioning.
- Downstream marketing growth and strong operational performance.
- $1.7 billion divestment of BP’s interest in SECCO petrochemical joint venture, subject to regulatory approvals.
BP cheif, Bob Dudley said; "Our year has started well. BP is focused on the disciplined delivery of our plans. First quarter earnings and cash flow were robust.
"We have shown continued operational momentum - it was another strong quarter for the Downstream and the first of our seven new Upstream major projects has started up, with a further three near completion.
"We expect these to drive a material improvement in operating cash flow from the second half."