According to the Associated Press, BP PLC pledged to boost its annual pretax profit by more than $3 billion over the next two to three years, with plans for scores of new projects to counter declining output from existing oil and gas fields. The company said it expects to lift oil and gas production by an average of between 1 and 2 percent over the next five years and that it was increasingly confident of further growth to the end of the decade. BP last month reported full-year replacement cost profit of $14 billion for 2009, a 45 percent decline from 2008. Replacement cost profit is the measure most closely watched by analysts. It excludes changes in the value of crude inventories and measures the amount it would cost to replace assets at current prices. BP will make final investment decisions on 24 new major projects over the next two years. It hopes to start up 42 new major projects between 2010 and 2015 as existing fields decline. The projects, ranging from Russia to the North Sea, will contribute one million barrels of oil a day by 2015 or around a quarter of BP''s total production — more than offsetting falling output from maturing fields. The company produced 4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2009, an increase of 4 percent from 2008.