BP's results follow a mixed picture from the sector with Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L and Exxon Mobil XOM.N falling short of forecasts while results from Chevron CVX.N and France's Total TOTF.PA were stronger than expected.
The company said Tuesday its replacement cost profit - a number analogous to the net income that USA oil companies report - was $2.4 billion in the first quarter, compared with $1.4 billion in the same period a year earlier.
Like the handful of big oil firms that have already reported in recent days, London-based BP benefited handsomely from recently lofty oil prices.
Shares in the oil giant briefly hit their highest level since 2010 as the firm said underlying replacement cost profits jumped to a better-than-expected 2.6 billion U.S. dollars (£1.9 billion) for the first three months of 2018, up from 1.5 billion United States dollars (£1.1 billion) a year earlier.
BP's cash flow from operating activities rose sharply from a year earlier to $3.6 billion, but declined from the previous quarter as a result of the Deepwater Horizon payments and one-off charges.
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Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: "The main negative in the numbers is cash flow performance which was dampened by continuing payments linked to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, leading to higher debt".
Revenues climbed 22pc to 68.1bn, boosted by a 6pc rise in production to 3.7m barrels per day after new oil and gas fields came online. Stripping those out, cash flow reached $7 billion in the quarter, the strongest since 2014.
Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary said the London-listed company might consider raising the dividend later this year if oil prices remain near current levels and debt declines.
Tuesday's solid first-quarter results could go some way toward convincing investors that BP's ambitious plan to regain its position among the world's top energy companies is gaining steam. The company paid out $1.6 billion on a pretax basis for the Deepwater Horizon disaster, including a final $1.2 billion payment to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Investors are now hoping for the company to announce its first dividend increase since the third quarter of 2014. Payments are expected to be just over $3 billion in 2018, weighted to the first half of the year. At the same time, Mr Dudley has also pledged to keep a tight rein on spending and costs. It was also about a billion dollars lower than analysts' expectations.