BP's annual profit rockets

Bob Dudley chief executive said that 2017 had been one of the strongest years in BP’s recent history

BP's earnings were better than expected, unlike those of Exxon and Chevron who reported last week weaker than forecast Q4 results.

BP announced in a statement today that its underlying replacement cost profit had soared to $6.2 billion for full year 2017 and $2.1 billion in the fourth quarter, from $2.6 billion and $400 million for full year and fourth quarter 2016, respectively.

Dividend per share remains at 10 cents.

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Seven new major projects were delivered, boosting oil and gas production.

BP would generate profit in 2018 at an oil price of $50 a barrel, chief financial officer Brian Gilvary said, as years of spending cuts kicked in and as it slowly shakes off a $65bn bill for penalties and clean-up costs of the 2010 spill.

The annual profits of oil giant BP more than doubled past year, largely amid increase in oil prices.

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Payments for the Deepwater Horizon incident and Gulf of Mexico oil spill continued to weigh on BP, bringing the total bill to date to $65 billion.

The BP CEO said the company is entering the second year of BP's five-year plan with real momentum and is increasingly confident that BP can continue to deliver growth across its business, improving cash flows and returns for shareholders to 2021 and beyond. The company past year announced six discoveries, for a cumulative total of 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent, its largest since 2004.

BP took a one-off charge of $900 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 to adjust to new USA tax rules, though it expects a long-term boost from the corporate-friendly rates. On an annual basis, BPs profits spiked to $US6.2 billion from $US2.6 billion in 2016. The group benefitted from a rise in oil prices, with the price of a barrel of Brent crude having surged by 40 percent since July. Net debt was $37.8bn, up from $35.5bn a year earlier, after the company paid $5.4bn related to the Deepwater Horizon spill.

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