Profits flowed at the rate of £1.4 million an hour at BP during the first six months of the year.
The oil giant yesterday reported profits of £6.14 billion for the half year to the end of June, a rise of 8.4 per cent over the same period last year.
Profits for the second quarter came in at £3.3 billion, ahead of City forecasts, compared with £2.69 billion for the same period last year.
Chief executive Lord Browne, who yesterday confirmed that he will retire at the age of 60 in 2008, said the second-quarter result reflected "good overall operating performance" with the firm's actions to control costs on track, but added that results were being impacted by higher tax charges.
"The near-term global outlook appears resilient," he added.
High oil costs have more than made up for a drop in output.
The price of Brent crude soared to $69.53 a barrel in the three months to June 30, compared with $61.79 in the first quarter and $51.63 a year ago. BP said production for the quarter at 4.02 million barrels of oil a day was broadly flat when compared with the same period last year after adjusting for the effect of disposals.
Production for the half year at 4.03 million barrels of oil a day was two per cent lower than last year.
Production has been falling as BP continues to suffer from damage caused by last summer's brutal hurricane season.
Repair work is continuing at Thunder Horse in the Gulf of Mexico - one of the world's largest oil platforms - after it was badly damaged.
In addition, an investigation has been launched after two leaks were found at the plat-form during routine tests. The start-up of production is expected in early 2007.
In a separate announcement yesterday, BP said it is to invest another $1 billion in addition to the $6 billion already allocated over the next four years to upgrade safety at its US refineries and to repair and replace infield pipelines in Alaska.
This comes following a number of incidents over the past 18 months, including an explosion last year at the Texas City refinery.
The company is facing a criminal investigation into a massive oil spill in Alaska in which 270,000 gallons of crude leaked into Prudhoe Bay.
And earlier this month it emerged that BP had suspended three traders at the centre of an alleged propane price-fixing scandal.
Regulators in the US have filed a lawsuit against the company over claims that it bought up large amounts of propane in February 2004 and withheld it from the market to drive prices higher.
Lord Browne said yesterday: "These events in our US businesses have all caused great shock within the BP group.
"They have prompted us to look very critically at what we can learn from ourselves and others, and at what we can do in certain key areas to assure ourselves and the outside world that our US businesses are consistently operating safely and with honesty and integrity.
"We are, of course, continuing to co-operate to the fullest possible extent with the US regulatory bodies investigating these events."
Lord Browne said an advisory board is to be appointed to advise the group's US subsidiary, BP America, and its newly-appointed chair, Robert Malone,.
Shares closed up 3 1/2p at 630p.