BP's underlying replacement cost profit rose to $1.9bn in the third quarter compared with $684m in the previous three months and up from $933m a year ago. For the first nine months of the year, underlying replacement cost profit rose to $4,059m from $2,185m. Third quarter operating cash flow, excluding Gulf of Mexico oil spill payments, was $6.6 billion. Including these payments, operating cash flow for the quarter was $6.0 billion. Underlying operating cash flow in first nine months exceeded organic capital expenditure plus full dividend - equivalent to organic cash balance including full dividend at Brent oil price of $49 a barrel, or $42 a barrel including cash dividend only. The dividend is unchanged at 10 cents per share. Other highlights: - Recommencing share buyback programme in fourth quarter to offset ongoing dilutive effect of scrip dividends over time. - Reported group oil and gas production in the third quarter averaged 3.6 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, 14% higher than in the third quarter of 2016. - Three Upstream major projects began production in the quarter. - Downstream underlying quarterly earnings were the highest for five years, second-highest on a RC basis. - Around $4.5 billion in disposal proceeds are expected for full year 2017, with $1.0 billion received in first nine months. Proceeds expected in the fourth quarter include those from the SECCO transaction ($1.4 billion) and the initial public offering of BP Midstream Partners LP's common units ($0.7 billion). Group chief executive Bob Dudley said: 'We are steadily building a track record of delivering on our plans and growing across our businesses. 'This quarter, three new Upstream projects and the highest Downstream earnings in five years, underpinned by reliable operations and disciplined spending, have generated healthy earnings and cash flow. 'There is still room for further improvement and we will keep striving to increase sustainable free cash flow* and distributions to shareholders.'
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