Full story: BP reports bumper profits due to soaring gas and oil prices
BP’s annual profits hit an eight-year high of $12.8bn in 2021 as it benefited from a surge in energy prices, prompting renewed calls for a windfall tax on fossil fuel companies to relieve the financial pressure on households facing a sharp rise in bills.
The bumper annual results were boosted by a $4.1bn profit in the final quarter of 2021, as global gas demand recovered and oil prices rallied to seven-year highs.
Annual profits compared with a $5.7bn loss in 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic reduced demand for energy.
Natural gas and electricity prices have soared since last summer on tight gas supplies and rising demand as economies bounced back from the pandemic, with the stand-off between Russia and Ukraine also pushing gas prices higher.
BP’s results prompted fresh calls for a windfall tax on fossil fuel companies to fund extra help for hard-hit households braced for a sharp rise in energy bills and wider cost of living crisis. Last week, BP’s rival, Shell, reported a quadrupling of 2021 profits to $19.3bn.
Rachel Reeves, Labour’s shadow chancellor and MP for Leeds West, tweeted:
“The chancellor’s energy plans last week left families more worried than ever. It’s time for Labour’s plan for a one-off windfall tax on oil & gas producers to cut bills.”