Oil giant BP Amoco was today facing the wrath of UK motorists by reporting huge profits - just a week after putting up its petrol prices.
High gas and oil prices could see the company’s profits for the first quarter of the year soar to £3bn - more than £1m an hour.
BP Amoco will once again blame high prices at the pump on the Government’s fuel duty, but this is unlikely to appease motorists.
Calls for a windfall tax on BP and its rival Shell have gathered pace since both companies made record profits last year of more than £9bn.
Shell fuelled the protests last week when it revealed profits for the first three months of this year had shot to £2.7bn - 23% higher than the same period last year.
The Anglo-Dutch group said its success was down to high gas prices, better refining margins and increased production.
Garry Russell, organiser of the Dump the Pump campaign said Shell’s results showed, however, it was time Chancellor Gordon Brown imposed a windfall tax on the oil giants.
He added: ‘‘The companies are profiteering at every juncture, from exploration to drilling and refining.’’
John Edmonds, general secretary of the GMB Union, added: ‘‘It is as if they are playing their own game of Who Wants To Be A Billionaire? at the expense of the motorist and the taxpayer.’’
BP - the UK’s biggest oil company - raised its petrol prices by 1p a litre on Thursday, taking the average price to about 78.5p on BP’s forecourts.
It said the move was in reaction to an increase in the cost of petrol on the international market.
Gasoline prices surged to their highest price for nine months last week, increasing the pressure on petrol retailers to follow suit.
Protesters are likely to point out, however, that both BP and Shell benefit from high oil prices in other parts of their business.
Indeed, concern that oil prices could fall in the coming months saw Shell’s share price fall on Thursday despite its profits haul.
BP’s share price also dipped before bouncing back on Friday to a closing price of 611p.