BP joined oil major rivals including Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Total in posting stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings, mostly thanks to higher oil and gas prices.
BP reported first-quarter underlying replacement cost profit, the company’s definition of net income, of $1.51 billion, exceeding analysts’ average forecast of $1.26 billion.
Investors are now turning their attention to cash generation that will allow companies to cover spending and dividend payouts and reduce ballooning debt. London-based BP is set to start up eight projects this year, including in Oman and Azerbaijan, the largest number in the company’s history in a single year. It hopes to add 800,000 barrels per day of new production by the end of the decade.
“Rising production from new upstream projects is expected to drive a material improvement in operating cash flow from the second half of 2017,” the company said in its results statement.