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BP profits soar on buoyant oil market 

Oil giant BP hiked its dividend for the first time in four years after a rise in crude prices helped it post bumper profits.
Underlying replacement cost profit, a key industry measure, hit $28bn (?23bn) in the six months to June, four times higher than the previous year. Statutory pre-tax profits were up almost 150pc to $10bn.  
Bob Dudley, chief executive, said: "We continue to make steady progress against our strategy and plans, delivering another quarter of strong operational and financial performance.
"Given this momentum and the strength of our financial frame, we are increasing our dividend for the first time in almost four years.
"This reflects not just our commitment to growing distributions to shareholder but our confidence in the future."
Markets Hub - BP
BP is the latest global energy major to post bumper profits, following in the footsteps of Anglo-Dutch rival Royal Dutch Shell, Repsol of Spain, Total of France, and US titans Chevron and ExxonMobil.
Rising oil prices translate into rising revenues and profits for energy majors and producer nations.
The oil market has surged on the back of a December 2016 deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel and Russia to curb output.
The price of London Brent crude, the main global oil benchmark, has jumped some 50pc over the last 12 months to the current level of $74 per barrel.
Opec and Russia, fearing an out-of-control spike in prices, reached a new deal in June to open the taps.
BP profits soar on buoyant oil market 

BP took a $700m hit on the Deepwater Horizon disaster 
The buoyant market has nevertheless fizzed higher on output disruptions in oil producers like Iran, Libya and Venezuela.
BP meanwhile took another $700m hit for the second quarter in financial costs linked to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, a deadly explosion on a BP-leased drilling rig in 2010 that unleashed the worst environmental disaster in US history. That took its total bill for the catastrophe to about $65bn.
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