Profit more than doubled at oil giant BP last year as the business benefited from runaway gas prices caused by the war in Ukraine.
The company said that it would invest an additional eight billion dollars (£6.6 billion) each in the energy transition, and in oil and gas, as boss Bernard Looney promised to keep affordable energy flowing.
The business said that underlying replacement cost profit – the figure most followed by analysts – had reached 27.7 billion dollars (£23 billion) last year.
The measure was slightly lower in the last three months of the year compared to previous quarters at 4.8 billion dollars (£4 billion).
BP said that the result had been affected by its gas marketing division, which saw below average results after an exceptional third quarter.
The massive profit is set to put BP at the centre of another political battle. Last week Shell reported its highest profit in history, sparking calls for an additional windfall tax.
Joseph Evans, researcher at IPPR, said: ”While bill-payers across the UK are struggling with soaring costs, BP’s shareholders are reaping enormous payouts. After the oil giant made record profits in 2022 it passed an extraordinary £9.35 billion directly back to shareholders through share buybacks.
“That’s a scandalous use of surplus cash which could have been used to lower bills, or invested in the green transition.
“America and Canada are already taking action on excessive shareholder payouts: it’s long overdue for the government to follow suit by introducing a tax on share buyback schemes.”