BP records boost in profits

<p>BP profits have been boosted thanks to an increase in production.</p>

BP has enjoyed a boost in profits in the second quarter of the year thanks to a rise in production.

The British oil company's replacement cost profits stood at $3.2 billion (£1.9 billion), up from the $2.4 billion recorded during the same period 12 months earlier. However, there are concerns that should the European Union (EU) implement further sanctions on Russia then it could hamper its future ambitions.

BP currently owns a 20 per cent stake in Russian energy firm Rosneft and it believes that any more sanctions levied at Russia could have serious implications for its operations. Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have led to the EU imposing sanctions but it has so far not affected BP's projects.

The oil giant said in a statement: "Any future erosion of our relationship with Rosneft, or the impact of further economic sanctions, could adversely impact our business and strategic objectives in Russia, the level of our income, production and reserves, our investment in Rosneft and our reputation."

It added that it maintains a positive commercial relationship with Rosneft and wants to continue this in the future but this could be affected if the sanctions are put in place. This would restrict the company's plans for any other growth opportunities in Russia in the coming years.

The EU is on the brink of agreeing new sanctions against Russia for its role in the Ukraine crisis. The downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which was allegedly shot down by Russian separatists over Ukraine, only heightened calls for the sanctions to be imposed. The new restrictions are designed to target Russia's finance, energy and defence sectors.

Heavy fighting in the region of the crash site between government forces and rebels has prevented an international team from accessing the remaining wreckage of the plane.

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