BP raises dividend as quarterly profits jump on high commodity prices

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.Large oil and gas companies like BP and Exxon Mobil have shattered profit records following a sharp rise in oil prices.

.Activists have slammed Big Oil’s inflated profits and have urged the U.K. government to do something to bring down the high cost of rising energy bills.

Bp increases dividends by 13%
The U.K. oil giant BP reported bumper second-quarter profits on Tuesday, benefiting from a surge in commodity prices.

The UK’s major energy supplier recorded $8.5 billion of core earnings before taxes for the second quarter.

With earnings of $6.2 billion in the first quarter of the year and $2.8 billion in the second quarter, analysts were expecting $6.3 billion.

Also on Tuesday, BP announced a 10% increase in its quarterly dividend payout to shareholders, bringing it to 6.006 cents per ordinary share.

BP’s shares are up nearly 20% year-to-date.

In BP’s quarterly earnings announcement, it again underscores the vast discrepancy between oil profits and how the gas prices affect many people in the world.

The world’s largest oil and gas companies are making more profit recently after their stock prices spiked from an increase in Russian controlled commodities.

In many fossil fuel companies, return of cash to shareholders via buyback programs appears to be the top priority.

Last week, BP’s UK competitor Shell announced an exceptional performance in the second quarter with $11.5 billion in revenue and offered a share buyback program worth $6 billion, while British Gas owner Centrica has relaunched their dividend following a notable surge in first-half profits.

Image Source- Reuters

The cost of living crisis
Union groups and environmental activists have condemned Big Oil’s surging profits and called on the U.K. government to impose policies that would make energy less expensive.

Earlier this month, a cross-party group of U.K. lawmakers urged the government to increase support for households struggling to pay rising energy bills. They also proposed a plan to insulate homes nationwide.

Due to a steady rise in gas prices, prices for some of the most popular and widely used electricity tariffs in the UK are expected to soar. That will mean that, on average, dual fuel bills for UK households will come to more than £3,200 each year.

The charity National Energy Action said that this would push 8.2 million homes – or one in three – into energy poverty. Fuel or energy poverty occurs when a household is unable to afford to heat their home adequately.

Energy campaigner Sana Yusuf said Shell and Centrica’s results suggest not everyone is suffering from the energy crisis. “These bumper profits will be met with disbelief by people across the UK facing skyrocketing energy prices.”

Yusuf is asking the UK government to implement a more heavy windfall tax on energy firms. He states that rather than producing more fossil fuel projects, the bulk of these profits should be used to insulate our homes and help households struggling to afford their heating this winter.

Fossil fuel burning, such as oil and gas, is the main driver of climate change, and researchers have found fossil fuel production is “dangerously out of sync” with global climate targets.

The U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in June made a call for abandonment of the financing of fossil fuels, saying new investments in fossil fuel exploration are delusional.

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