LONDON — BP says fourth-quarter earnings jumped 65 per cent as the London-based energy company benefited from higher oil prices and increased production.The company said Tuesday that underlying replacement cost profit, the industry’s preferred gauge of earnings, rose to $3.48 billion from $2.11 billion in the same period a year earlier. The figure excludes one-time items and fluctuations in the value of inventories.Net income increased 28 times to $766 million.Oil companies are profiting after cutting costs and selling assets to adjust to an era of lower oil prices — crude dropped below $30 a barrel in January 2016.Brent crude, a benchmark, averaged $68.81 a barrel in the quarter, 12 per cent higher than a year earlier.BP’s production increased 1.8 per cent 2.63 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.The Associated Press

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