ENERGY giant BP has posted eye-watering profits of £6.9 billion as ordinary families across the country fear another expected increase in their utility bills.

Investors in the oil company have been cheered by the firm reaping the benefits of soaring fuel costs as it say its profits soar to a 14-year-high in the second quarter.

In the three months to June 30, BP recorded profits about £4.6bn higher than a year ago.

We told yesterday how a report from Legal and General revealed more than eight million people across the UK feared they had “nothing left” to cut back on as nearly half of Scots worried they would not be able to afford their current lifestyle in the near future.

The National: BP chief Bernard Looney signs agreement with Sheik Khaled, chair of the UAE's national oil company ADNOCBP chief Bernard Looney signs agreement with Sheik Khaled, chair of the UAE's national oil company ADNOC

While most are tightening their belts and working out how to save money when energy bills rise again in October – expected to hit an annual cost of £3,615 next year, according to energy market analysts – BP investors enjoyed a 10% increase in the firm’s shareholder dividend payout.

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Mark Ruskell, the Scottish Greens environment spokesperson, called the figures "obscene" and said "things can't go on like this". 

He added: "We need real and immediate action from the Treasury before costs go up again.

"That means a meaningful windfall tax to deliver real relief for people here and now, but it also means a major investment in renewable energy so that we can finally break the link between fossil fuel prices and household bills."

It comes after rivals Shell and Centrica, owner of British Gas, revealed bumper results last week.

BP also warned that there is not expected to be any let-up with energy prices over the summer, forecasting that crude oil and gas prices will remain high over the third quarter due to supply disruption from Russia.

The Ukrainian war forced the firm to ditch its substantial stake in Russian oil producer Rosneft – resulting in a hit of around £19.9bn.  

The Government is introducing a windfall tax on the profits of energy companies, but it has faced criticism for giving strong incentives to allow companies to invest in oil and gas, while there are no tax incentives in the policy for green investment.

BP chief executive Bernard Looney insisted the group was continuing to “perform while transforming”.

He said: “Our people have continued to work hard throughout the quarter helping to solve the energy trilemma – secure, affordable and lower carbon energy.

“We do this by providing the oil and gas the world needs today – while at the same time, investing to accelerate the energy transition.”

Household bills are expected to rise even further in January next year to £3,615, according to energy experts Cornwall Insight.

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Craig Lowrey, the firm’s principal consultant, said the Government’s promised support for households would “only scratch the surface”.

On Friday, Richard Neudegg, director of regulation at Uswitch, called for the £400 to be increased to at least £600, and for payments to vulnerable households to rise from £650 to £950.

Charity National Energy Action last month predicted that, should the average bill reach £3,250 per year, 8.2 million UK households will be in fuel poverty, or one in three.