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Energy giants to rake in £11.6bn in war profits, Greenpeace and Oil Change International reveal

ENERGY giants are in line for £11.6 billion in war profits from British oil and gas thanks to a spike in prices as calls mounted for a windfall tax.

Analysis by Greenpeace UK and Oil Change International today has revealed that the jump in global energy prices due to the Ukraine war will lead to a projected increase in profits from extracting British oil and gas of 111 per cent.

The 10 companies that stand to benefit the most from the increase include BP and Shell.

A windfall tax on the £11.6bn additional profits could relieve energy poverty in Britain, improve the energy efficiency of housing and deliver a mass roll-out of clean heating, which would help insure against future price shocks and reduce emissions, the analysis showed.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has so far distanced himself from slapping a windfall tax on the industry, instead looking to companies making big profits to invest the cash back into Britain.

Meanwhile, BP has notched up its highest quarterly profits for more than a decade thanks to the rocketing oil and gas prices.

The oil giant saw its underlying replacement cost profits, which is its preferred measure of profits, more than double to £5bn for the first three months of this year – up from £2.1bn last year.

Analysts had predicted a £3.6bn profit.

This is despite an £18.4bn loss after the company took a hit from ditching its near-20 per cent stake in Russian oil producer Rosneft.

To shake off criticism, BP has revealed plans to invest up to £18bn into Britain’s energy system by 2030 and pay £1bn in taxes for its North Sea profits this year.

But TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said that the profits were obscene at a time when households across Britain were being hammered by soaring bills and prices.

She said: “The government must stop making excuses and impose a windfall tax on oil and gas companies.

“The money raised should bring down costs for struggling families.

“The longer ministers delay taking action to deal with this living standards emergency the more damage will be done. We need an emergency Budget now.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told BBC Breakfast that the profit figures reinforced the need for a windfall tax.

Greenpeace UK climate finance adviser Charlie Kronick said the government should be exploring every option to help people squeezed by the cost of living, “yet they’re acting like rabbits caught in the headlights.”

He said the simple thing to do is to bring a windfall tax on bloated profits and use the money to help struggling households.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Good Morning Britain that a windfall tax would discourage companies from making investments.

Mr Johnson acknowledged that more could be done to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, but said that increasing government spending to support households could fuel inflation rises faster when confronted about benefits failing to keep up with soaring costs.

But the PM said there are “plenty of things more that we are doing” such as putting “much more money” into local councils.

“We have the particular payments to help elderly people in particular with the cost of heating,” he added.

Mr Johnson was also challenged about the case of 77-year-old Elsie, who has seen her energy bill soar, forcing her to cut down to one meal a day.

Told that she spent the day travelling on buses to stay out of her home and keep her bills down, the former London mayor praised himself for introducing the 24-hour freedom bus pass.

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