BP Earnings Rise

The oil giant posts a 29% profit gain on a 24% jump in revenue.
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second-quarter profit soared 29% from a year ago on the strength of high oil prices, but the latest quarter was weighed down by a big charge for a Texas refinery fire.

The company also boosted its capital spending target by $500 million, and set plans to continue its stock buybacks. BP bought back $4.1 billion of stock in the first half.

For the second quarter, the London-based oil giant earned $4.98 billion, up from $3.87 billion a year earlier. Revenue rose 24% from a year earlier to $88 billion. The latest quarter included a charge of $700 million over a March

plant explosion that killed 15 people, plus a charge of $126 million for other so-called nonoperating events.

BP said the second-quarter trading environment was generally stronger than a year ago with higher oil and gas realizations, higher refining and chemicals margins, but with lower retail marketing margins. "Prices remain supported by strong world oil consumption growth and limited spare oil production capacity," the company said. It said the outlook for retail margins remains uncertain, with a weak start to the third quarter.