BP profit surge 71 pct on higher oil prices and output

LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) - BP reported a 71 percent jump in profit in the first quarter on Tuesday, driven by higher oil and gas prices and increased production as it undergoes an era of rapid growth.

London-based BP reported first-quarter underlying replacement cost profit, the company’s definition of net income, of $2.6 billion, exceeding forecasts of $2.2 billion, according to a company-provided survey of analysts.

That compared with a profit of $1.5 billion a year earlier and $2.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017.

First-quarter production rose to 3.7 million barrels per day, up 6 percent from a year earlier.

“Moving through 2018, we’re determined to keep delivering our operational targets and maintaining capital discipline while growing cash flow and returns.” Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley said in a statement.

Reporting by Ron Bousso, editing by Louise Heavens