BP's big profits

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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: The British oil giant BP has reported a big hike in earnings on the back of higher oil and natural gas prices. The company has also unveiled measures to tackle many of its problems in the United States. From London, Stephen Beard reports.


STEPHEN BEARD: BP's second quarter profits have jumped 30 percent, but the celebratory tone of today's statement is rather muted.

The company acknowledges a series of regulatory and safety problems in the US. The explosion at its Texas City refinery last year claimed 15 lives. A massive oil leak in Alaska is under federal investigation. And the company's been accused of manipulating the propane market.

Today BP said it was spending an extra $1 billion upgrading its American safety systems. The company has to ask itself some searching questions says Carola Hoyos of the Financial Times.

CAROLA HOYOS: For me the big question is whether these are just isolated events or whether there's a fundamental problem with the operation in the US.

The company is increasingly dependent on its American operations

The US accounts for a third of its workforce and up to a half of its assets and revenues.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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