BP profits more than double in the first quarter of 2010

By Phaedra Friend Troy

British oil producer BP (BP) saw profits during the first quarter of 2010 reach $6.079 billion, which is a substantial jump from the fourth quarter of 2009 of $4.295 billion. Additionally, year-over-year the company's profits improved greatly with first quarter 2009 profits reaching only 2.562 billion. 

The company also reported that its first-quarter replacement cost profit was $5.598 billion, compared to $2.387 billion a year ago, which is an increase of 135%. 

The improved price of oil helped the company post such strong earnings, beating some analysts' predictions. Now, the financial world waits for other super-majors, such as Chevron (CVX) and ExxonMobil (XOM), to announce their earnings later this week.

While these profits certainly depict BP's strength in the marketplace, the company's outstanding earnings report is overshadowed by the Deepwater Horizon semisub tragedy that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico last week, and the subsequent oil spill.

With the Macondo oil well spilling oil into the Gulf of Mexico from 5,000 feet below the surface of the water, BP has launched an exhaustive effort to try to quell the spill, as well as clean it up. Currently ROVs work on the ocean floor to engage the Blowout Preventer (BOP), while crews work to clean up oil sheen on the water’s surface. 

Additionally, another oil rig, the Development Driller III, is on location to commence drilling one of two relief wells, and the Discoverer Enterprise is en route to drill the second relief well.

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