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The company said Tuesday its replacement cost profit - a number analogous to the net income that US oil companies report - was $2.4 billion in the first quarter, compared with $1.4 billion in the same period a year earlier.

United Kingdom supermajor BP posted a rise in profits during the first three months of 2018 as the upstream segment posted its strongest quarter since 2014.

The last time BP generated so much profit was in the third quarter of 2014, when oil prices averaged $104 a barrel.

Our safe and reliable operations and strong financial delivery have continued into 2018.

"We have delivered another strong set of results".

Operating cash flow excluding Gulf of Mexico oil spill payments* in the quarter was $5.4 billion including a $1.8 billion negative impact from an increase in working capital ($1.7 billion after adjusting for inventory holding gains) driven by higher oil prices and seasonal inventory builds.

In late morning deals, BP shares gained 1.0 percent to 543.40 pence on London's FTSE 100 index, which stood 0.3 percent higher at 7,532.06 points.

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"The market seems satisfied for now by assurances that this will represent the peak for outflows relating to the disaster, but if this is not in evidence later in the year, BP may be in for harsher treatment".

BP said its first-quarter underlying replacement cost profit, the company's definition of net income, came to $2.6 billion, exceeding forecasts of $2.2 billion, according to a company-provided survey of analysts.

The group said it produced 3.7 million barrels of oil equivalent per day during the quarter, a 6 per cent rise compared with the first quarter of 2017.

The surge in revenue led BP last October to become the first European oil major to resume share buybacks in order to offset the dilutive effect of so-called scrip dividend, where shareholders can opt to receive dividends via cash or shares.

Chief financial officer Brian Gilvary cautioned that the performance was energised only partly by the oil price recovery.

The results were impacted by a $1.6 billion pre-tax payment for the settlement of the Deepwater Horizon spill.

The further hit from the spill in the first quarter sent the firm's debt levels rising to 40 billion USA dollars (£29 billion) from 38.6 billion U.S. dollars (£28.2 billion) a year ago. Payments are expected to be just over US$3 billion in 2018, weighted to the first half of the year.


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