PROFIT more than doubled at oil giant BP last year to hit record highs as the business benefited from runaway gas prices following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The company also admitted it slashed its emissions reduction targets by a third - making them easier to hit.

And the firm announced it would produce much more oil and gas by the end of this decade than previously thought.

The business said that underlying replacement cost profit – the figure most followed by analysts – had reached $27.7 billion (£23bn) last year.

The measure was slightly lower in the last three months of the year compared to previous quarters at $4.8bn (£4bn).

READ MORE: Pat Kane: Breathtaking profits of oil giants should spur us to action

The massive profit quickly put BP at the centre of another political battle, with the Scottish Greens saying the oil firms "are laughing their way to the bank while the world is burning around us".

Mark Ruskell MSP went on: “We can’t go on like this. We can’t have multi-billion pound companies building excessive fortunes from the destruction of our planet.

“We urgently need to get away from oil and gas and from a system based on maximum extraction and maximum profits. That means action from every government and a major shift to renewable energy."

SNP MP Alan Brown said the news showed there was "no question that the Tory government must scrap its downright offensive plan to raise the energy bill price cap yet again in April".

“It’s ludicrous that ordinary families are paying through the teeth while major companies are making record profits. Instead of increasing people’s bills, the Tories should be reducing them by taxing share buy backs, expanding the windfall tax, and clamping down on non-dom tax status," he went on.

Labour also called for Rishi Sunak to bring in a "proper windfall tax", saying it was an outrage that BP was profiting from "the windfalls of war, coming directly out of the pockets of the British people".

Last week Shell reported its highest profit in history, sparking calls for an additional windfall tax.

The second oil giant said that profits skyrocketed to £68.1bn in 2022. It represented the company’s highest profit in its 115-year history and surpassed the expectations of industry experts.

In the wake of the news, the SNP also said that the Tories must scrap their “outrageous” plan to raise the energy bill price cap in April.