First rise in four years
BP raises dividend as profits boosted by higher oil price
The payment has been increased by 2.5% to 10.25 cents a share.
The company said that its underlying replacement cost profit – the widely used measure of profitability for the oil sector – rose to $5.4 billion in the first half compared to $2.1bn in 2017.
For the second quarter, it hit $2.8bn against $684m in the corresponding period last year, topping the $2.7bn consensus forecast.
The company’s first-half production rose to 3,662bn barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), which included production from Russian partner Rosneft up from 3,544mln boepd a year earlier.
Brent crude futures, currently trading above $74 a barrel, have risen by around 16% over the first half of 2018 and are up about 60% since June 30 2017.
BP’s net debt was $39.3bn at the end of June compared with $40bn at the end of March.
In its biggest deal in nearly 20 years, BP agreed to buy US shale oil and gas assets from the global miner for $10.5bn, expanding the oil major’s footprint in oil-rich onshore basins.
BP is also buying back shares up to a value of $200mln in the first half of this year.
Chief executive Bob Dudley said: “We are increasing our dividend for the first time in almost four years. This reflects not just our commitment to growing distributions to shareholders but our confidence in the future.”