BP has posted its highest quarterly profit in 14 years as oil and gas prices climbed between April and June.
Its underlying profits hit £6.9 billion for the quarter, treble the amount made in Q2 of 2021.
The profits have been driven by rising household energy bills, which this winter are expected to exceed over £3,600 on average.
There have been calls from opposition parties for the government to impose further taxation on such heavy profits to help subsidise bills and alleviate the financial squeeze on households.
The Conservative government bowed to opposition pressure in May and announced a 25 per cent levy on profits made by energy firms in the UK, but the new law does not apply to Q2 profits. The government expects around £5 billion to be generated by the new levy over its first year in action.
Green energy tycoon Dale Vince, owner of Ecotricity, has accused BP of “holding a shedload of money that is coming from hard-pressed bill-payers in our country”, and is also among the voices calling for more tax measures on oil and gas companies.
Vince added: “Clearly there are exceptional windfall profits in the oil and gas sector, and clearly there's a problem in the energy market, and we should fix one with the other.”
Although wholesale oil and gas prices have been forced up further in recent months by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, leading to a knock-on effect for consumers, prices at the pump for petrol have begun to see modest falls.
However, experts expect energy bills to remain high over this and next year, and into 2024.
Although BP’s quarterly profits were strong, its figures for the half-year were set back by £19.9 billion, after it offloaded its stake in Rosneft, a Russian state-owned oil producer.
Meanwhile, BP has said that in the wake of its profits it will buy back shares in the business and increase shareholder payouts by 10 per cent.
CEO Bernard Looney has said that the company must use its profits wisely by “investing to accelerate the energy transition” to deliver more “secure, affordable and lower carbon energy.”
He said: “We do this by providing the oil and gas the world needs today - while at the same time, investing to accelerate the energy transition.