BP’s earnings nearly triple
LONDON — BP said its earnings from April to June almost tripled from a year earlier, increasing pressure on governments to intervene as energy companies profit from high oil and natural gas prices that are fueling inflation and squeezing consumers.
Net income jumped to $9.26 billion in the second quarter from $3.12 billion in the same period a year ago, London-based BP said Tuesday.
It said it expects oil and gas prices to remain high due to disruptions in supply caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
BP’s earnings come as energy companies worldwide scoop up record profits. British rival Shell last week posted an unprecedented $18 billion quarterly profit. Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil reported net income of $17.85 billion, and San Ramon, California-based Chevron earned $11.62 billion.
Nick Butler, a visiting professor at Kings College London and a former BP vice president, said the figures are likely to make BP and other oil companies uncomfortable given the pain high energy prices are causing for consumers.
“I think BP’s very sensitive to the reputational problems of making money at this level,” Butler told the BBC. “I think there’s a real case here, which I think people in the companies would be very open to, for the government calling together the industry to find a plan to get us through the winter without putting these very high prices onto ordinary consumers.”
In the United Kingdom, where inflation reached a 40-year high of 9.4% in June, the government has announced a 25% windfall profits tax on the earnings of oil and gas companies that come from British operations.