Bp’s annual profit of $US12.8 billion is it’s highest in eight years, recording $US4.1 billion in the final quarter alone.

The British oil giant stated it would buyback $US1.5 billion of shares, using 2021 surplus cash flow, before its first quarter 2022 results. A dividend of $US5.46 cents per share payable in March 2022 was also announced.

Based on its current forecast of oil at $US60 per barrel, bp said it expects to be able to deliver share buybacks of around $US4.0 billion per annum and have capacity for an annual increase in the dividend per ordinary share of around 4% through 2025.

The company’s net debt fell to $US30.6 billion at the end of the fourth quarter, down $US8.3 billion on the fourth quarter of 2020.

Bernard Looney, bp CEO, said 2021 shows that bp is doing what it said it would – performing while transforming.

“We’ve strengthened the balance sheet and grown returns. We’re delivering distributions to shareholders with $4.15 billion of buybacks announced and the dividend increased.”

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