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Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

U.K.-based global oil giant BP reported $2.6 billion in first quarter profits on the strength of higher oil prices and higher production, its biggest haul in three years and a rise of 71% from the same period in 2017.

Why it matters: BP is the latest Big Oil giant to report a jump in earnings as crude oil prices have climbed.

The big picture: The total beat analysts' expectations, according to several reports.

  • The company said it produced 3.7 million barrels of oil-equivalent per day in the first three months of the year, which is 6% above the first quarter of 2017.
  • Payments related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill were $1.6 billion, "including $1.2 billion for the final payment relating to the 2012 Department of Justice settlement," BP said.

Yes, but: Per Reuters, the company "saw its debt pile rise to $40 billion due to the settlement of more lawsuits over the deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico which has cost it more than $65 billion."

  • However, the company's CFO tells Bloomberg that "We’ve reached the peak now for quarterly payments" from the fatal disaster, adding that debt will fall later this year.

The markets respond: The company's stock climbed slightly in pre-market trading.

Go deeper: This new Wood Mackenzie podcast takes stock of the supermajors' earnings season, including a look at what's ailing Exxon.

Go deeper

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.