LONDON — BP raised its dividend and boosted share buybacks after tripling its second-quarter profits after robust refining margins and trading.

The British major made about $8.5 billion for the quarter, which is as close to a profit as you’re going to get in this sector.

This compares with a $6.2 billion profit for the first three months of the year and $2.8 billion for the second quarter of 2021. Refinitiv predicts that BP’s first-quarter profit should have been about $6.3 billion.

BP also increased its dividend payout by 10%, to 6.006 cents per ordinary share.

The BP shares increased by 4% in the morning trading in London, reaching the top of the pan-European Stoxx 600. This company’s stock price has gone up 23% over the course of the year.

In BP’s quarterly earnings announcement, it again underscores the vast discrepancy between oil profits and how the gas prices affect many people in the world.

Oil and gas companies are enjoying the highest profits on record because of a rapid rise in commodity prices due to Russia’s recent invasion of A first priority for many oil and gas companies seems to be returning money to shareholders through buyback programs.

BP’s competitor Shell just had a successful second quarter and has announced an investment into the share value of Shell. BP has announced that they plan to pull back on new initiatives, stating tight budget. British Gas has released some very profitable numbers and the shares are recovering to their original status.

The cost of living crisis

Activists from both environmental and union groups have condemned Big Oil’s surging profits and have asked the British government to do something about this by reducing the prices of energy for citizens.

In a statement, Trades Union Congress General Secretary Frances O’Grady said, “Every family should pay a fair price for the energy they use. But, with energy bills rising faster than wages, high profits are a humiliation for families.”

For a more fair and more just approach to the living wage crisis, wages and profits should be restrained. Ministers must do more to encourage wage growth. And we should bring energy retail firms into public ownership so we can cut down bills for basic energy needs, O’Grady said.

The U.K. government has been urged to provide more support for households dealing with rising energy bills, said a cross-party group of lawmakers last month.

A planned increase in the price of gas will force a cap on prices of most-used tariffs to go up by more than 60% and with average yearly dual fuel bills will be approximately £3,200.

If this is permitted to happen, National Energy Action says it will push eight million British homes, one in three of them, into fuel poverty. The term “energy poverty” refers to the inability of a household to afford an adequate level of heating.

Friends of the Earth spokesman Sana Yusuf urged the government to impose a heavy tax on large oil and gas company profits. The profits these companies are earning right now is mind-boggling given that people in the UK are experiencing skyrocketing cost of living he said in reaction to BP’s earnings report.

“It’s astonishing that insulation is given such a low priority in this country. Nationwide, an insulation program would save consumers money and lower emissions”, Yusuf said.

Scientists have found that fossil fuel production is “dangerously out of sync” with global climate targets as a result of burning fossil fuels such as oil and gas.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asked in June for the abandonment of all forms of fossil fuel financing, calling them delusional.