Strong BP profit renews call for energy sector windfall tax

May 3, 2022, 4:56 AM | Updated: 5:05 am

LONDON (AP) — BP posted its highest quarterly profit in more than a decade thanks to surging oil and gas prices, renewing calls for a U.K. government tax on energy companies’ windfall earnings to help households struggling with rising energy bills.

The British energy giant said Tuesday that underlying replacement cost profit — the industry standard measure — more than doubled in the first three months of the year, to $6.2 billion from $2.6 billion in the same period last year.

After accounting for a write-off of its nearly 20% stake in Russian oil producer Rosneft in response to the Ukraine war, BP PLC said its net loss in the first quarter totaled $23 billion.

The company said it would pay a dividend of 5.46 cents per share and buy back another $2.5 billion in shares.

The earnings report is further evidence of BP’s rebound from a 2020 slump caused when the coronavirus pandemic shut down large chunks of the global economy.

Meanwhile, oil and gas prices have rocketed, partly because of uncertainty about supplies from Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine, contributing to a cost-of-living crisis.

Annual inflation in the United Kingdom is at 7%, its highest since 1992, part of a broader global trend. Prices are set to keep rising after Britain’s energy regulator approved a 54% increase in gas and electricity bills for millions of households that took effect in April.

BP’s latest numbers stoked more debate in the U.K. about whether the government should tax energy companies that make unexpectedly big profits to help people struggling to get by.

Opposition parties have called for a windfall tax, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government has so far ruled it out. Nevertheless, finance chief Rishi Sunak last week raised the possibility for the first time, saying that he would consider it if companies don’t make investments in U.K. energy security.

Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labour party, said BP’s profits show that a windfall tax is the right approach.

“I think those figures reinforce the case that we’ve been making, which is that, with so many people struggling to pay their energy bills, we should have a windfall tax on oil and gas companies in the North Sea who have made more profit than they were expecting,” Starmer told the BBC.

He proposed using the money to help the most needy pay their energy bills.

Johnson, however, dismissed the idea.

“If you put a windfall tax on the energy companies, what that means is that you discourage them from making the investments that we want to see that will, in the end, keep energy prices lower for everybody,” he told ITV.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Colorado River settlement center of new Navajo Nation push...

Associated Press

Tribes say their future is at stake as they push for Congress to consider Colorado River settlement

Navajo officials are celebrating the signing of legislation outlining a proposed Colorado River settlement that would ensure water rights.

7 hours ago

Arizona doctors California abortions...

Associated Press

Arizona doctors can come to California to perform abortions under new law signed by Gov. Newsom

Arizona doctors can temporarily come to California to perform abortions for their patients under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

1 day ago

Father convicted of first-degree murder in northern Arizona...

Associated Press

Arizona man convicted of first-degree murder in starvation death of 6-year-old son

A northern Arizona father was convicted of first-degree murder Thursday in the 2020 starvation death of his 6-year-old son.

1 day ago

Former President Donald Trump sits in a courtroom next to his lawyer Todd Blanche before the start ...

Associated Press

Trump hush money trial enters new phase after defense rests without testimony from former president

Donald Trump's hush money trial is now closer to the moment when the jury will begin deciding the former president's fate.

3 days ago

UoA student convicted of first-degree murder after killing professor...

Associated Press

Former Arizona grad student convicted of first-degree murder in 2022 shooting of professor

A former University of Arizona grad student was convicted of first-degree murder after fatally shooting a professor on campus two years ago.

3 days ago

Rudy Giuliani bankruptcy filing defamation lawsuit...

Associated Press

Ex-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona’s Kelli Ward plead not guilty in fake elector case

Giuliani appeared remotely for the arraignment that was held in a Phoenix courtroom. His trial will take place in October.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Strong BP profit renews call for energy sector windfall tax