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BP back to profit amid rising spill costs

Higher oil prices have helped the firm return to profit for the first time since their involvement i

British Petroleum has reported a replacement cost profit of $1.85bn (₤1.15bn) during the third quarter of this fiscal, as against the $17bn loss recorded from April to June.

Higher oil prices helped the company recover from the losses posted during the second quarter even as BP said the cost of the oil spill had now risen by $7.7bn to $39.9bn.

BP registered a net profit of $1.79bn during the third quarter of this year, down 66 per cent from the profit of $5.3bn clocked during the corresponding period last year.

However, the replacement cost profit of $1.85bn was way below analysts' forecasts of $4.5bn.

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill crisis was triggered by an explosion on a drilling rig in April. Bob Dudley was appointed BP's chief executive last month, replacing Tony Hayward, who came under fire for his inability to handle the crisis.

Eleven people were killed in the explosion on April 20 while hundreds of miles of coastal area were polluted.

Delays in capping the well caused an estimated 4.9m barrels of oil (171mn gallons) to spill into the sea. The well was capped on 15 July and fully sealed in September.