BP has committed to reinvesting all of its profits from North Sea oil and gas production over the next decade back to the UK, seeking to end political pressure on an unexpected tax to offset energy spending for consumers.
“In this decade with our current plans, we expect to reinvest every pound we earn, and hopefully more,” CEO Bernard Looney told shareholders at the annual meeting in London on Thursday.
BP expects £ 18 billion to invest in the UK by the end of 2030, which is 15-20 per cent of total capital spending, compared to 10-15 per cent of spending that BP has historically deployed in the UK, Looney said.
Looney added that these spending plans do not depend on whether the UK government introduces a profit tax, but said such a policy could negatively affect the UK’s drive for greater energy security.
“A stable and competitive fiscal environment is an important element in making any investment decision, and that’s what we have in Britain today,” he said.
“By definition, surplus taxes are unpredictable and can trigger investments in energy grown.”
Opposition parties have stepped up calls for the Conservative government to impose an unexpected tax on leading energy companies such as BP and Shell, which have received record quarterly profits. Chancellor Rishi Sunak said in April that for the first time he would consider introducing a one-time tax on the industry if it fails to increase investment in new energy projects. He had previously dismissed the foreclosure case.
This month, BP reported base income of $ 6.2 billion for the first three months of the year, the highest quarterly figure since 2008 and more than double the $ 2.63 billion recorded a year earlier.