LONDON — BP says first-quarter earnings surged 70 percent as the energy company profited from rising oil prices and increased production.

The London-based company reported net income of $2.47 billion, up from $1.45 billion in the same period last year.

Underlying replacement cost profit rose 71 percent to $2.59 billion. The figure, which excludes fluctuations in the value of inventories and one-time items, is the industry's preferred gauge of earnings.

Oil companies are profiting after they cut costs and sold assets to adjust to an era of lower oil prices after crude dropped below $30 a barrel in January 2016. Brent crude averaged $66.82 in the first quarter, 24 percent higher than a year earlier.

BP's energy production increased 9 percent to the equivalent of 2.6 million barrels of oil a day.