StockMarketWire.com - BP said Tuesday third-quarter profit more than doubled as it produced higher volumes of oil and gas amid an improved oil-price environment.

BP reported underlying profits on a replacement cost basis -- a closely watched measure to gauge performance -- of $3.8bn, compared with $1.87m in the same period a year earlier.

Upstream production, which excluded Rosneft, rose 6.8% from a year ago to an average 2,460m barrels a day.

The upbeat third-quarter results were partially offset by higher exploration write-offs.

The third quarter and nine months included a net non-operating charge of $242m and $319m respectively, compared with a net charge of $146m and $527m for the same periods in 2017, the company said.

Operating cash flow excluding Gulf of Mexico oil spill payments was $6.6bn in the quarter and $19bn in the first half. These compared with $6.6bn for the third quarter of 2017 and $17.9bn for first nine months of 2017.

Organic capital expenditure for the third quarter and half year was $3.7bn and $10.7bn respectively, compared with $4.0bn and $11.9bn for the same periods in 2017.

The company said it expected organic capital expenditure to come in at about $15bn.

Net debt at 30 September stood at $39.2bn, down $0.6bn from $39.8bn a year ago.

Looking to the fourth quarter, BP said it expected reported production to be higher than the third quarter due to the acquisition of BHP assets in the US Lower 48.

'This quarter's underlying result was significantly higher than the second quarter in a very similar price environment. Since we announced the BHP transaction, oil prices have firmed to levels significantly above the acquisition assumptions,' said Brian Gilvary - Chief financial officer.

'While oil prices remain at these levels, we expect to finance the transaction fully using cash. In this event, the $5-6 billion divestment programme linked to the transaction will be used to reduce



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