BP's shares hit 3-1/2-year high after it cuts emissions targets

Signage is seen outside a BP (British Petroleum) petrol station in Liverpool
Signage is seen outside a BP (British Petroleum) petrol station in Liverpool, Britain, February 7, 2023. REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - BP's (BP.L) shares hit their highest in three and a half years on Wednesday, a day after it reported record profits and said it would produce more oil and gas for longer and cut its emissions reductions targets for this decade.

BP's shares rose to as high as 533.7 pence early on Wednesday, their highest since August 2019, after rising 8% on Tuesday, when it reported record annual profits leading to hiked dividends and share buybacks.

BP on Tuesday also scaled back plans to cut hydrocarbons output, now aiming to produce 2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2030, down just 25% from 2019 levels compared with previous plans for a 40% cut.

As a result, BP reduced its ambitions to cut emissions from fuels sold to customers to 20-30% by 2030, from 35-40%.

"Pragmatism takes priority this week as a world short energy together with governments begging for more from companies like BP causes a response. BP will lean more into oil & gas for the remainder of this decade," Bernstein Oswald Clint said in a note.

Surging energy prices in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine have boosted profits in the sector, with BP rivals TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA), Shell (SHEL.L), Exxon Mobil(XOM.N) and Chevron (CVX.N) all reporting bumper earnings.

Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Kim Coghill

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