Oil companies’ profits have rocketed in the last quarter.
BP made over £16 billion in 2011. Its fortunes have recovered dramatically since 2010, when the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded.
That disaster killed 11 oil workers, and went on to cause the biggest oil slick in the history of the US. It devastated the marine environment and the Gulf of Mexico’s tourism and fishing industries.
BP is preparing “vigorously” for legal battles to reduce the compensation it has to pay. The company has set aside over £600 million to pay for lawyers.
Meanwhile Shell’s annual profits have gone up by 54 percent—to more than £2 million every hour.
The news comes less than a month after the company closed its final salary pensions scheme in Britain to new workers.