BP profits more than double to £7.1bn as Rishi Sunak pressured to raise windfall tax

  • Watch ITV News Political Correspondent Romilly Weeks' report on BP's profits and a possible windfall tax rise.

BP's profits more than doubled over the past three months amid calls for stiffer windfall taxes on energy producers.

The oil giant revealed that in the quarter to September its underlying replacement cost profits skyrocketed to $8.2 billion (£7.1 billion), compared with $3.3 billion dollars (£2.9 billion) a year earlier.

Market analysts were expecting a $6.1 billion profit (£5.3 billion), but the company's figure was much higher.

The news came as BP confirmed it will be hit by the windfall tax on its UK operations this year, unlike rival Shell, and consumers face high energy bills going into the winter.

BP said it will pay £2.2 billion in taxes for its UK North Sea businesses this year, as well as £695 million to the energy profits levy, which was imposed in May.

Joel Hills, ITV News' Business and Economics Editor, said that BP's profits were "extraordinary".

But he added that some were questioning if the company should be moving towards its green energy targets with "greater urgency".

"The longer this profits boom endures, the harder it gets for BP to justify holding back on low-carbon", he said.

Meanwhile, ITV News' Political Editor Robert Peston said BP's financial movements pointed to the company possibly "inviting" a higher windfall tax.

Peston tweeted: "BP made 3-month profit of $8.2bn, which was all cash, and is giving $2.5bn to shareholders via a share buyback.

"Giving away $2.5bn rather than investing it looks like an invitation by BP to a cash-strapped Sunak government to raise the 25% rate of the “windfall” oil and gas tax."

BP Chief Executive Bernard Looney said the company was aiming to "transform" amid its quarterly results.

“We remain focused on helping to solve the energy trilemma – secure, affordable and lower carbon energy", he said.

“We are providing the oil and gas the world needs today – while at the same time investing to accelerate the energy transition."

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