U.K. chancellor Jeremy Hunt faced renewed calls November 1 for an extension to the windfall tax on oil and gas companies as BP posted “eye-watering” profits of $8.2 billion (£7 billion) in the third quarter, reports The Guardian.
BP’s profits have soared this year as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has pushed up wholesale gas prices. It said the performance of its gas business had been “exceptional.”
Analysts had expected a drop-off in BP’s huge profits to about $6.6 billion in the third quarter of the year after it raked in $8.5 billion in the second quarter — a 14-year profit high. However, the slowdown was smaller than expected, despite BP noting “weaker refining margins” and lower oil prices.
There is already a windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas operators, and BP said it expects to pay about $800m in windfall tax on its North Sea operations this year. Hunt is reportedly examining increasing the windfall tax by up to five percentage points, to 30%, and extending its lifespan by three years, to 2028.
Joe Biden on October 31 called on large oil companies that are bringing in big profits to stop “war profiteering,” threatening to hit them with higher taxes if they do not increase production.
The company’s run of huge profits showed little sign of abating as it said it expected oil prices to “remain elevated” after the recent Opec+ supply cut — which angered Biden — and uncertainty in gas and refining markets caused by the war in Ukraine.
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