Baltimore Sun

BP’s earnings nearly triple

- By Danica Kirka

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.

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