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BP: quarterly profit up on high downstream earnings.

(CercleFinance.com) - BP's third-quarter profit rose by over 9% year-on-year as the British oil and gas giant launched three new upstream projects and recorded its highest downstream earnings in five years.

BP's third-quarter profit reached 1.77 billion dollars, compared with a profit of 1.62 billion dollars for the same period in 2016.

Downstream earnings reached 2.17 billion dollars before interest and tax over the past quarter, compared to 968 million dollars a year earlier, with oil prices just below 50 dollars a barrel, up from about 46 dollars a barrel a year earlier.

"There is still room for further improvement and we will keep striving to increase sustainable free cash flow and distributions to shareholders," group chief executive Bob Dudley said.

BP said its quarterly dividend remained unchanged at 10 cents per ordinary share and that it will be recommencing a share buyback programme in the fourt quarter.

After the news, BP shares rose 3.3% in London, outperforming a 1.2% gain for the STOXX Europe 600 Optimised Oil & Gas index.

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