BP boss gives £400 rebate to charity after company's £6.9 billion profits

BP CEO Bernard Looney speaks during an event in London on February 12, 2020, where he declared the company's intentions to achieve
BP chief executive Bernard Looney is giving his £400 energy rebate to charity. (Getty)

The BP chief executive will be giving his £400 energy rebate to charity after his company announced £6.9 billion profits, it has been confirmed.

The oil giant said CEO Bernard Looney would not take the discount after he was asked if it was right a millionaire should receive the payment.

He had initially said he did not “know the specifics” of the rebate and “these things are decisions for governments” when quizzed by a Times journalist on Tuesday.

But BP later confirmed Looney and chief financial officer Murray Auchincloss would give the money to charity.

Households will automatically start receiving the £400 energy rebate from October.

Watch: BP earnings hit 14-year high amid anger over energy firm profits

It comes after BP revealed second-quarter profits more than trebled to a 14-year high as it joined rival Shell in reaping the benefits of soaring oil and gas prices.

The oil giant reported underlying replacement cost profits – its preferred measure – jumping to a far better-than-expected $8.5bn (£6.9bn) for the three months to 30 June, up from $2.8bn (£2.3bn) a year ago.

The results were revealed amid a massive cost of living crisis with mounting anger over large profits from oil and energy firms.

Households are struggling to deal with rocketing energy bills and soaring food prices amid record inflation.

BP also warned not to expect any let-up with energy prices over the summer, forecasting that crude oil and gas prices will remain high over the third quarter due to supply disruption from Russia.

People across Britain have been warned they could face an annual energy bill of £3,615 this winter in the latest grim analysis by energy consultant Cornwall Insight.

Read more: Energy bills forecast to hit £3,615 amid worsening cost-of-living crisis

Electric bill charges paper form on the table
UK households could face an annual energy bill of £3,615 this winter. (Getty)

Households will start receiving the £400 energy rebate from October, with the discount made in six instalments.

A discount of £66 will be applied to energy bills in October and November, rising to £67 each month from December to March 2023.

Further government assistance includes a £650 one-off cost-of-living payment for around eight million households on means-tested benefits, a £300 one-off pensioner cost-of-living payment and a £150 one-off disability payment.

Read more: Why have I not received my £650 cost of living payment?

The government is introducing a windfall tax on the profits of energy companies, but it has faced criticism for giving strong incentives to allow companies to invest in oil and gas, while there are no tax incentives in the policy for green investment.

BP also gave a 10% rise in the dividend shareholder payout and ramped up its share buyback plan with another $3.5 b (£2.9 b) due before the end of September.

BP's profit announcement followed bumper results from Shell and British Gas owner Centrica last week.