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BP’s shares hit their highest in three and a half years on Wednesday, a day after it reported record profits and said it would produce more oil and gas for longer and cut its emissions reductions targets for this decade.

BP’s BP-N shares rose to as high as 533.7 pence early on Wednesday, their highest since August 2019, after rising 8 per cent on Tuesday, when it reported record annual profits leading to hiked dividends and share buybacks.

BP on Tuesday also scaled back plans to cut hydrocarbons output, now aiming to produce 2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2030, down just 25 per cent from 2019 levels compared with previous plans for a 40 per cent cut.

As a result, BP reduced its ambitions to cut emissions from fuels sold to customers to 20-30 per cent by 2030, from 35-40 per cent.

“Pragmatism takes priority this week as a world short energy together with governments begging for more from companies like BP causes a response. BP will lean more into oil & gas for the remainder of this decade,” Bernstein Oswald Clint said in a note.

Surging energy prices in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have boosted profits in the sector, with BP rivals TotalEnergies, Shell, Exxon Mobil and Chevron all reporting bumper earnings.

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