BP profits set to revive windfall tax calls

STORY: BP just reported another quarter of bumper earnings.

The oil giant said Tuesday (May 2) that profits hit $5 billion in the first quarter.

It cited strong trading in oil and gas.

The company said it would buy back another $1.75 billion in shares over the next three months.

But that was actually less than in the previous quarter, sending its shares down 5% in early trades.

Looking ahead, BP said it expected oil prices to stay strong in the second quarter.

Though it said refining profit margins could fall due to lower prices for diesel.

Benchmark Brent crude prices averaged $81 a barrel over the first three months of this year, down 16% from a year earlier.

In 2022, BP’s annual profit hit a record $28 billion due to soaring energy prices.

Market volatility also benefited its trading business.

That was one factor sparking calls for windfall taxes on energy firms - something likely to be repeated this year.

Rivals including Exxon Mobil and Chevron have already posted strong results of their own.