BP benefits from higher oil prices
Oil giant BP has today reported a 135% rise in its first quarter profits as a result of higher oil prices.
The company said profits more than doubled to $5.6 billion (£3.6 billion), compared with $2.4 billion for the first quarter of 2009.
Furthermore, the figure is also up on the $3.45 billion profit made in the final quarter of 2009.
Like other oil companies, BP has benefited from rising crude oil prices, which were around the $76 a barrel mark in the first three months of the year – compared with an average $40 in the same period a year ago.
The results come as the company is battling to contain a major oil spillage after the Deepwater Horizon platform sank last week, two days after a massive explosion which left 11 workers missing and presumed dead.
BP said it is putting a second drilling rig into position close to the Deepwater Horizon, as it endeavours to contain the major oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico, covering an area of 1,000 square kilometres.
The second rig, Development Driller III, will be used to drill a so-called “relief well” to intercept the leak.
Providing an update on the situation, BP chief executive, Tony Hayward, said better weather had allowed it to step up its clean-up programme.
“This, combined with the light, thin oil we are dealing with has further increased our confidence that we can tackle this spill offshore,” said Mr Hayward.