London — BP will become the first major European oil and gas company to resume share buy-backs since the 2014 price slump, a sign years of austerity have paid off. Tuesday’s surprise announcement came as the British oil company reported a doubling in third-quarter profit, and in a week that crude prices hit two-year highs above $60 a barrel. Coupled with strong growth in its oil and gas production and cash flow, the resumption of buy-backs in the fourth quarter lifted BP’s shares to their highest in more than three years, when oil prices were still about $100 a barrel. The move comes as BP gradually shakes off the impact of the deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, known as Macondo, that cost it more than $63bn in clean-up costs and penalties. "After three years of oil-price correction and seven years after Macondo, we are now back into a more normal state of growing the business in the current environment and we can deal with prices that go lower," BP chief financial officer Brian G...

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