ExxonMobil third quarter earnings up 55 percent, despite output decline

Nov. 2 (UPI) — ExxonMobil, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, said Friday its third-quarter earnings rose 55 percent on-year, as higher prices offset a two percent total oil and gas production decline.

Total production declined two percent from the same quarter last year to 3.8 million barrels per day of oil equivalent, the company reported, but production was higher compared with the April-June period and is expected to increase from current levels, according to the report.

Liquids production rose six percent, as growth in North America more than offset decline and higher downtime. Natural gas volumes decreased four percent “largely due to a continuing near-term shift in U.S. unconventional development from dry gas to liquids,” ExxonMobil said.

“We’re pleased with the increase in production from the second quarter of 2018 recognizing it reflects contributions from just one of our key growth areas, the Permian,” CEO Darren Woods said. “We expect to continue to increase volumes over time as we ramp up activity in the Permian and new projects start up.”

The company said that Syncrude operations in Canada were impacted by a power supply disruption that began in late June with recovery by the middle of September, and highlighted progress in exploration during the quarter in Guyana while it increased rights for exploration areas in Brazil.

It reported lower planned maintenance of its downstream assets compared with the previous year as a factor contributing to rising earnings.

During the just-completed quarter, ExxonMobil sold 1,000 Esso-branded service stations in Germany to EG Group Ltd on Oct.1, 2018, where the company “is converting its retail business to the branded wholesaler model consistent with other markets in Europe and North America.”

It also highlighted the start up of operations of a new ethane crackers in Baytown, Texas, this will provide feedstock to produce plastics at its Mont Belvieu plant. The company is also advancing “discussions” related to a new chemical complex in the Guangdong province of China.

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