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UK Energy Giant BP’s Profits Double To $27.7 Billion




LONDON, England — On Tuesday, BP announced that it had made the most money ever in a single year. This added to calls for the UK government to raise taxes on companies that are making money off of the high prices of oil and natural gas because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

BP, which has its headquarters in London, said that its underlying replacement cost profit, which does not include one-time items or changes in the value of inventories, went up from $12.8 billion in 2021 to $27.7 billion in 2022. BP earned $26.8 billion in 2008 when tensions in Iran and Nigeria drove global oil prices to a record of more than $147 per barrel.

BP also said it would buy back more shares from shareholders worth $2.75 billion and raise its quarterly dividend by 10%.

But public anger, especially in the country where the company is based, is likely to make the good news for BP shareholders less exciting. High oil and gas prices have hit Britain hard, with double-digit inflation fueling a wave of public-sector strikes, a surge in food bank use, and calls for politicians to expand a tax on energy companies‘ windfall profits to help pay for public services.

Ed Miliband, who is in charge of the environment for the opposition Labour Party, has asked the UK government to put a “proper” windfall tax on energy companies.


BP Faces Critisism Over The Profit Margins

“Yet another day of huge profits at an energy giant, windfalls from war,” Miliband said.

Shell, based in London, received similar criticism last week after reporting that its annual earnings more than doubled to a record $39.9 billion.

Energy companies around the world are making a lot of money, which has led to calls for the fossil fuel industry to do more to help with high energy bills and reduce carbon emissions that hurt the environment. Last week, Exxon Mobil, which is based in the United States, said it made a record $55.7 billion.

Last year, Britain put a 25% windfall tax on earnings from oil and gas production in the country. In 2023, the tax will go up to 35%. Opposition leaders have chastised the government for allowing energy companies to reduce their tax liability by investing in the United Kingdom.

BP said it took a $1.8 billion charge last year to cover the new UK tax.


The Company Had To Pay Lots Of Fees To Leave Russia

The company also had to pay $25.5 billion in fees because it decided to pull out of its investments in Russia after Russia invaded Ukraine.

After taking into account one-time costs and changes in the value of inventories, BP reported a net loss of $2.49 billion for 2022. This is a big change from the year before, when it made a net profit of $7.57 billion.

BP said on Tuesday that it would invest an extra $8 billion in its oil and gas businesses, as well as in clean energy, hydrogen, and charging stations for electric cars, through 2030.

The investments will increase oil and gas production to approximately 2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2030. BP had planned to cut production by 40%, but the new goal is only 25% less than what was planned for 2019.

“We will prioritize projects where we can deliver quickly, at a low cost, and using our existing infrastructure, allowing us to minimize additional emissions while maximizing both value and our contribution to energy security and affordability,” said CEO Bernard Looney statement.


Prices Of Oil Has Been Falling

Following the invasion of Ukraine, energy prices skyrocketed. Brent crude, a global oil price benchmark, averaged $101.32 per barrel last year, 43% higher than in 2021. The average wholesale price of natural gas in the United Kingdom increased by 76%.

Prices have been falling in recent months, with Brent crude averaging $88.87 per barrel in the fourth quarter.

“The question is, what will they do with record profits and operating cash flow? Governments are already questioning record profits from peer global energy companies,′′ according to Gianna Bern, author of “Investing in Energy: A Primer on the Economics of the Energy Industry.” “At a time when inflation and gas prices are both at record highs, energy companies around the world will have to rethink the cost and availability of energy for everyone.”

According to Alice Harrison, fossil fuels campaign leader at environmental advocacy nonprofit Global Witness, BP’s profits were made “on the back of three global crises” — the Ukraine war, the energy crisis, and climate breakdown.

“These massive profits will be a bitter pill to swallow for those in need,” Harrison said. “There’s no denying it: BP is richer because we’re poorer.”



Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.


Fans Are Following Taylor Swift To Europe After Finding Eras Tour Tickets Less Costly There



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LONDON — Thousands of die-hard Taylor Swift fans who missed her U.S. concert tour last year or didn’t want to pay high prices to see her again discovered an unusual solution: fly to Europe.

The pop artist is ready to begin the 18-city European leg of her record-breaking Eras Tour in Paris on Thursday, and planeloads of Swifties will follow Miss Americana across the water in the coming weeks. The arena where Swift performs reported that Americans purchased 20% of the tickets for her four sold-out gigs. The next leg of the tour, Stockholm, is expected to draw approximately 10,000 concertgoers from the United States.

A concert may seem like a weird reason to visit a distant nation, especially because fans can watch the Eras Tour documentary from home on Disney+. However, Expedia, an online travel website, claims that Swift’s fans’ continent-hopping is part of a bigger trend known as “tour tourism,” after noticing a tendency during Beyoncé’s Renaissance world tour.

Some North American fans who intend to fly overseas for Swift’s Eras Tour said they justified the cost by noting that tighter limitations on ticket costs and resales in Europe made Swift perform abroad no more expensive—aand possibly cheaper — than seeing her closer to home.

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Fans Are Following Taylor Swift To Europe After Finding Eras Tour Tickets Less Costly There

“They said, ‘Wait a minute, I can either spend $1,500 to go see my favorite artist in Miami, or I can take that $1,500 and buy a concert ticket, a round-trip plane ticket, and three nights in a hotel room,” Melanie Fish, an Expedia representative and travel specialist, said.

Jennifer Warren, 43, of St. Catharines, a community in Ontario’s Niagara region, has had this experience. She and her 11-year-old son adore Swift but needed help finding reasonably priced tickets in the United States. Undeterred, Warren and her husband decided to arrange a European holiday based on where she could obtain tickets. The location turned out to be Hamburg, Germany.

“You get out, you get to see the world, and you get to see your favorite artist or performer all at once, so there are a lot of benefits,” said Warren, director of research and innovation at a mutual insurance firm.

The three VIP tickets she got near the stage eras tour— “I would call it brute-force dumb luck” — were 600 euros ($646) each. Swift then announced six November tour dates in Toronto, within driving distance of Warren’s house. “Absolute nose-bleed seats” are already selling for 3,000 Canadian dollars ($2,194) on secondary resale sites such as Viagogo, Warren added.

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Fans Are Following Taylor Swift To Europe After Finding Eras Tour Tickets Less Costly There

Hardcore fans following their favorite musician or band on tour is not a recent phenomenon. “Groupie” first appeared in the late 1960s as a somewhat pejorative term for devoted rock band fans. Deadheads hit the road in the 1970s to follow the Grateful Dead from city to city.

More recently, according to Fish, music festivals such as Coachella in California and Glastonbury in England, as well as musical residencies in Las Vegas by Elton John, Lady Gaga, and Adele, have drawn visitors to places they might not have visited otherwise.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, travel and entertainment specialists have reported a pent-up consumer demand for “experiences” rather than tangible items. Some believe that music fans’ readiness to widen their fandom horizons is part of a larger societal adjustment.

“It does seem like it’s more than a structural shift, maybe a personality transformation we all went through,” said Natalia Lechmanova, the Mastercard Economics Institute’s top Europe economist.

As Swift travels around Europe, Lechmanova anticipates restaurants and hotels to experience the same increase that Mastercard saw within a 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) radius of performance venues in the cities she visited in 2023. According to the economist, the strong strength of the US dollar against the euro may also boost retail spending on apparel, collectibles, beauty items, and materials for the friendship bracelets fans exchange during the Eras Tour.

Former college roommates Lizzy Hale, 34, of Los Angeles, and Mitch Goulding, 33, of Austin, Texas, already had tickets to see the Eras Tour in L.A. last summer when they decided to try to obtain them for Paris, London, and Edinburgh, Scotland. They saw a concert trip to Europe as a replacement for a trip they planned to celebrate Goulding’s birthday in May 2020 but had to cancel due to the pandemic.

Goulding got VIP seats to one of Swift’s three Stockholm gigs. He, Hale, and two other pals planned a ten-day tour that included stops in Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

“As someone who enjoys both traveling and music, finding a way to combine the two is really special,” said Hale, expecting her first child.

The local economic impact of what the zeitgeist has dubbed “Swiftonomics” and the “Swift lift” can be significant. It’s no surprise that Singapore’s government signed an exclusive deal with Swift to make the city-state her lone tour stop in Southeast Asia earlier this year, sparking regional envy.

European governments have yet to acknowledge that their countries were not among the 12 chosen for the Eras Tour’s Europe leg, while some fans are surprised that Gelsenkirchen, a city with a population of around 264,000, is one of three German places that made the list

Airbnb announced Tuesday that searches on its site for the U.K. cities where Swift will perform in June and August — Edinburgh, Liverpool, Cardiff, and London — jumped by an average of 337% since tickets went on sale last summer.

Not to be outdone in identifying trends, the property rentals firm identified the demand as an example of “passion tourism,” or travel “driven by concerts, sports, and other cultural events.”

According to Stockholm Chamber of Commerce Chief Economist Carl Bergqvist, 120,000 visitors from 130 countries, including 10,000 from the United States, are scheduled to visit Sweden’s capital this month. Stockholm is the only Scandinavian destination on Swift’s tour, and airlines have increased flights from nearby Denmark, Finland, and Norway to bring fans to the May 17-19 gigs, he said.

Even though rates for the tour dates have soared, the city’s 40,000 hotel rooms are all booked, according to Bergqvist. He said that concertgoers are likely to spend roughly 500 million Swedish kroner, or more than $46 million, on the local economy during their stay, excluding the cost of Swift tickets and travel to Sweden.

“So this is going to be huge for the tourism sector in Sweden and Stockholm in particular,” said Bergqvist.

Nightclubs, restaurants, and bars are taking advantage of the opportunity to pander to fans by hosting Taylor Swift-themed activities such as karaoke, quizzes, and after-concert dance parties.

Caroline Matlock, 29, of Houston, saw Swift more than a year ago on the Eras Tour in Texas. She’s now making additional friendship bracelets and trying to learn a few Swedish words in preparation for the three-and-a-half-hour presentation in Stockholm. Swift’s friend proposed seeing her in Europe, and Matlock initially needed convincing.

“I said, ‘I only want to travel if it’s a nation I’ve never been to. “I’ve seen Taylor Swift,” she explained.

Their itinerary includes visits to Scandinavian destinations such as Oslo and Gothenburg. The event is the trip’s final night, and Matlock looks forward to meeting Swifties from other countries. “Americans tend to have a very obsessive culture, especially Taylor Swift-related, so I’m curious if the crowd will be more toned-down.”

It remains to be seen whether the music tourism trend will last as long and as strong as Swift’s and Beyoncé’s and whether it will spread to Billie Eilish, Usher, and other artists who have world tours planned for next year. Expedia’s Fish believes that other well-known singers performing in Europe this summer will demonstrate that planning a foreign trip around a concert is becoming popular.

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AP – VOR News Image

Fans Are Following Taylor Swift To Europe After Finding Eras Tour Tickets Less Costly There

Kat Morga, a travel consultant in Nashville, is still determining. Morga watched Swift perform in Nashville last year and assisted two clients with school-aged children in booking European family holidays this summer, which included seeing Swift in concert. However, she believes that the complexity of navigating ticket purchases through language hurdles, currency conversions, international banking restrictions, and the danger of cancellations will limit the popularity of regular gig vacations.

“I think this is an anomaly,” Morga stated. “People aren’t going to spend $20,000 on a lavish family trip just because Taylor Swift is there. She’s a unique individual. “She’s unique.”

Glenn Fogel, CEO of Booking Holdings, owns,,, Kayak, and OpenTable, is even less excited about concert tours as a tourist promoter. The Swift Effect creates a “little blip” when the superstar visits smaller destinations, but for the global travel sector, “one star touring around does not make a difference,” he explained.

“It may only shift it somewhat. A person planned a week-long vacation in the Caribbean. Instead, that individual says, ‘Let’s go to the Taylor Swift thing,'” Fogel explained. “It does not increase it. “It just moves it from here to there.”


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Warren Buffett Says AI May Be Better For Scammers Than Society. And He’s Seen How



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OMAHA, Nebraska – Warren Buffett warned the tens of thousands of shareholders who crowded an arena for his annual meeting that AI frauds might become “the growth industry of all time.”

Doubling down on his warnings from last year, Buffett informed the crowd that he had just encountered the disadvantages of artificial intelligence. And it looked and sounded exactly like him. Someone created a phony film of Buffett, which appeared to be convincing enough that the so-called Oracle of Omaha admitted he could imagine it deceiving him into moving money offshore.

The wealthy investing guru predicted that crooks will grasp the technology and cause more harm than good.

“As someone who doesn’t understand a damn thing about it, it has enormous potential for good and enormous potential for harm and I just don’t know how that plays out,” he was quoted as saying.


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Warren Buffett Says AI May Be Better For Scammers Than Society. And He’s Seen How

The day began early Saturday with Berkshire Hathaway reporting a significant decline in earnings as the paper worth of its investments fell, and it reduced its Apple holdings. In the first quarter, the business posted a $12.7 billion profit, or $8,825 per Class A share, a 64% decrease from $35.5 billion, or $24,377 per A share, the previous year.

However, Buffett advises investors to focus more on the conglomerate’s operating earnings from the companies it actually owns. These increased by 39% to $11.222 billion, or $7,796.47 per Class A share, driven by the success of insurance businesses.

Nothing that got in the way of having fun.

Crowds flocked to the arena to buy Squishmallows of Buffett and former Vice Chairman Charlie Munger, who died last October. The gathering draws investors worldwide and is unlike any other business meeting. Those attending for the first time are motivated by a desire to be here while Buffett, 93, is still alive.

“This is one of the world’s top events for learning about investment. “To learn from the gods of the industry,” said Akshay Bhansali, who traveled from India to Omaha for nearly two days.

Devotees go from all over the world to gather pearls of wisdom from Buffett, who memorably nicknamed the event ‘Woodstock for Capitalists.’

However, one missing aspect this year was the first meeting after Munger’s death.

The gathering began with a video homage featuring some of his most famous statements, including the legendary line, “If people weren’t so often wrong, we wouldn’t be so rich.” The movie also included pranks the investors had done with Hollywood celebs over the years, including a “Desperate Housewives” spoof in which one of the women introduced Munger as her lover and another in which actress Jaimie Lee Curtis swooned over him.


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Warren Buffett Says AI May Be Better For Scammers Than Society. And He’s Seen How

As the film ended, the arena erupted in a sustained standing ovation for Munger, whom Buffett referred to as “the architect of Berkshire Hathaway.”

Buffett stated that Munger remained curious about the world until his death at 99, throwing dinner parties, meeting with people, and making regular Zoom calls.

“Like his hero Ben Franklin, Charlie wanted to understand everything,” Buffett said.

For decades, Munger and Buffett served as a legendary comic pair, with Buffett providing lengthy setups to Munger’s sharp one-liners. He once called unproven internet startups “turds.”

Together, they transformed Berkshire from a struggling textile mill into a vast conglomerate of diverse interests, from insurance companies such as Geico to the BNSF railroad, many major utilities, and a slew of other businesses.

Munger frequently described the key to Berkshire’s success as “trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.” He and Buffett were also recognized for sticking to businesses that they knew well.

“Warren would always do at least 80% of the talking. But Charlie made an excellent foil,” said Stansberry Research analyst Whitney Tilson, who was looking forward to his 27th consecutive meeting.

Munger’s absence, however, allowed shareholders to get to know the two executives who directly supervise Berkshire’s companies: Ajit Jain, who runs the insurance operations, and Abel, who handles everything else and has been anointed Buffett’s successor. This year, they performed alongside Buffett on the main stage.

When Buffett initially asked Abel a question, he accidentally said, “Charlie?” Abel shrugged off the error and delved into the issues that utilities face due to the increasing risk of wildfires and certain regulators’ unwillingness to allow them to make a respectable profit.

Morningstar analyst Greggory Warren says Abel spoke up more on Saturday, allowing shareholders to see some genius Berkshire management boasts about.

Abel twisted Munger’s famed “I have nothing to add” statement by frequently beginning his answers Saturday with “The only thing I would add.”


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Warren Buffett Says AI May Be Better For Scammers Than Society. And He’s Seen How

“Greg’s a rock star,” stated Chris Bloomstran, head of Semper Augustus Investment Group. The bench is deep. He won’t be in the same mood at the meeting, but I believe we all come here every year as a reminder to remain logical.”

Buffett made it obvious that Abel would be Berkshire’s next CEO, but he stated on Saturday that he had altered his mind about how the company’s investment portfolio should be managed. He has previously stated that it would fall to two investment managers who now control tiny portions of the fund. On Saturday, Buffett approved Abel for the position, which includes managing the running businesses and potential acquisitions.

“He understands the business well. “If you understand business, you understand common stocks,” Buffett stated. The board will ultimately decide, but the billionaire has threatened to come back and haunt them if they try something different.

Buffett believes Berkshire’s arrangement of having all non-insurance companies report to Abel, and insurers report to Jain is effective. He no longer receives many calls from management since they rely on Abel and Jain for assistance.

This place would work extremely well the next day if something happened to me,” Buffett stated in an interview.

Nonetheless, Buffett’s closing remark was the biggest applause line of the day: “I not only hope that you come next year, but that I come next year.”


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Good News: The Worst Could Be Over For Gas Prices This Spring



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Israel and Iran have engaged in open conflict. Ukrainian drones have routinely targeted Russian oil refineries. And OPEC continues to restrict oil production.

These frightening occurrences sparked concerns about $4 gas, harming the US economy and exacerbating inflation.

However, this has not occurred, at least yet. Gas prices in the United States have stopped growing and dropped temporarily recently.

The national average was $3.66 per gallon on Monday, down from $3.68 a week ago, according to AAA.

There is growing anticipation that gas prices will peak in the spring, if not the entire year.

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, predicts that drivers will find relief at the pump in the coming weeks.

“I’m hoping the worst is behind us,” De Haan told CNN. Unless something drastic happens, there are increasing odds the national average has hit the projected spring peak.”

Tom Kloza, worldwide head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service, believes gas prices will fall in the coming weeks.

“Most of the worries from the year’s first half have been resolved. “I think we’re safe until hurricane season,” Kloza remarked.

‘Could have been far worse.’

Of course, none of this implies that gas costs are cheap. They were lower in April 2021 and spring 2020, when Covid-19 kept many Americans off the roadways.


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The Worst Could Be Over For Gas Prices This Spring

Nonetheless, a springtime peak of less than $3.70 a gallon would be a win for consumers, considering the real risk of significantly higher gas costs.

“It could have been much worse,” said Andy Lipow, owner of the consultancy firm Lipow Oil Associates.

According to AAA, drivers in just seven US states pay $4 or more per gallon for gas. All those states are in the Western part of the country, followed by California, where the average is $5.40 per gallon, up from $4.88 last year.

The national average is nowhere near the record increase above $5 per gallon in June 2022.

“It seems evident that this will not be a record-setting year. “Filling your tank will feel much more normal this year,” said De Haan.

Economic and political ramifications.

Officials in Washington would most certainly breathe a sigh of relief.

Rising gasoline costs earlier this year led to lower-than-expected inflation readings, casting uncertainty on when the Federal Reserve will be able to decrease interest rates.

A rise in petrol prices is the last thing President Joe Biden wants as he works to persuade voters of his economic message before November. According to a new CNN poll, Biden’s support rating for the economy is 34%, and for inflation, it is even lower (29%).

The Biden administration backed off plans to buy crude oil for the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, an emergency oil stockpile, earlier this month, adding to White House concerns over petrol costs.


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Some economists expect gas prices to rise further.

Lipow believes the national average will reach $3.75 per gallon this year.

Still, that would be lower than last year’s top of $3.88 per gallon in September.

“I’m not expecting a spike in gasoline prices,” Lipow added.

There are several reasons why gas prices are now holding steady.

First, oil prices have stopped rising. On April 12, US crude oil nearly reached $88 per barrel as investors braced for Iran’s reprisal against Israel over a suspected attack on an Iranian diplomatic complex in Syria.

However, oil prices fell when Israel and its allies effectively averted the reprisal. For now, fears of a larger confrontation in the Middle East have subsided, albeit this might alter quickly. US crude fell below $83 a barrel on Monday.

There are other seasonal aspects to consider.

The transition to more expensive summer-grade gasoline at US refineries is now complete. Similarly, the reopening of refineries that had been closed for normal maintenance has aided gasoline supplies.

Record-breaking US crude output continues to increase the oil supply. All of that US oil, headed by the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico, is countering OPEC+’s production cuts, which Saudi Arabia and Russia lead.

Meanwhile, gasoline demand has remained relatively low despite other indications that American consumers are spending rapidly.


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The Worst Could Be Over For Gas Prices This Spring

The hurricane season looms.

Gas prices are at risk of reaching a double peak. That’s what happened last year, when gas prices peaked in April, fell, and then returned late in the summer as excessive heat hampered US refineries.

“Weather can wreak havoc,” said Kloza, an OPIS analyst.

A major hurricane that destroys oil facilities along the US Gulf Coast is the greater risk.

Forecasters warn that the hurricane season (which normally begins on June 1) will be extremely active. Colorado State University predicts more hurricanes and named storms than ever before.

“Hurricane season is the next major hurdle,” Kloza stated.


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