It comes after Shell reported its own huge gains last week, at a time when fuel and energy prices are soaring. Fossil fuel companies have been accused of greed in a time of crisis for millions of consumers.
According to its quarterly results, published this morning (Tuesday), BP’s underlying profits went up from $6.2billion (£5.1billion) in the first three months of the year. Its reported profit for April-July was $9.3billion (£7.6billion) before adjustments.
The firm said itself that one of the key drivers for this was “continuing exceptional oil trading performance”.
As a result of the high profits it has raked in, the UK-based company said it would be increasing its dividends by 10 percent.
Though this may come as good news to shareholders, many have already vented their outrage at the swelling profits of Shell, which doubled in the past three months alone to £9.4billion.
Politicians and campaigners hit back that Shell’s business tactics were “very short-sighted” and that the “greedy” company has “no humility”.
The record profits being seen by energy companies has reignited calls for higher windfall taxes.
Rachel Reeves, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said: “People are worried sick about energy prices rising again in the autumn, but yet again we see eye-watering profits for oil and gas producers.”
Rising prices have seen people having to make difficult choices over home and medical bills, and some have resorted to stealing to make ends meet.
This morning, one consultancy said it predicted domestic energy bills could rise to over £3,600 a year this winter – higher than previous, already piggybank-busting forecasts.
Cornwall Insight estimated that the typical gas and electricity bill could reach £3,615 in the new year.
Dr Craig Lowrey, the company’s principal consultant, told the BBC that “while the rise in forecasts for October and January is a pressing concern, it is not only the level but the duration of the rises that makes these new forecasts so devastating.
“Given the current level of the wholesale price, this level of household energy bills currently shows little sign of abating into 2024.”
Last week, reports emerged that Ofgem is expected to lift the energy price cap higher in October, to £3,420 – three times what consumers were paying at the start of the year.
The Government has announced that homes in England, Scotland and Wales will receive £400 to help with rising fuel bills this autumn, to be paid in six installments from October.
But when energy bills are expected to push well over £3,000, the £67 a month will seem like a drop in the ocean to many.
The Energy Bill Support Scheme will also include a £650 payment to more than eight million of the lowest-income households.
Trade body EnergyUK has called for the Government to cut taxes on domestic energy bills.
Meanwhile, prices at the petrol pump have only started to fall ever so slightly in the last few weeks – but RAC said that the UK was still the joint second most expensive country in Europe for filling up, alongside Denmark and behind Finland.
The motorist group said that the UK’s 5p fuel duty cut was one of the lowest in the region, and looked “paltry” when compared to other nations who had imposed a similar cut.
BP said it had a reported loss of $20.4billion (£16.7billion) for the first quarter of 2022, but noted that this was largely due to the charge incurred from divesting its nearly 20 percent stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.