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America's Biggest Oil Giant Beats Earnings Expectations

The largest U.S. oil and gas major, ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) beat analyst forecasts although it reported on Friday a 49-percent slump in earnings for the third quarter, weighed down by low oil and natural gas prices.

Exxon booked earnings of US$3.17 billion in Q3, down from US$6.24 billion for the same quarter last year. Earnings per share slumped to US$0.75 from US$1.46.

Still, the EPS for Q3 2019 beat the analyst consensus of US$0.67 provided by The Wall Street Journal.

The lower oil prices in the third quarter were the main drivers of the weakened earnings, Exxon said, joining other supermajors such as Shell, which reported on Thursday weaker third-quarter profits as low crude oil and gas prices dented its net result. Shell, however, like Exxon, beat analyst estimates, thanks to stronger income from oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading.

Exxon, the biggest U.S. oil company and one of the world’s top ten producers, boosted its oil-equivalent production in the third quarter by 3 percent from the third quarter of 2018, to 3.9 million barrels per day (bpd).

In 2018, Exxon was the world’s sixth largest producer in terms of production volumes, behind state-controlled companies Saudi Aramco, Russia’s Rosneft, Kuwait Petroleum, National Iranian Oil Company, and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).  

Exxon’s total upstream liquids production rose by 5 percent in Q3 from a year earlier, driven by the Permian Basin—the top priority for the U.S. supermajor for the coming years, together with the development of the massive discoveries offshore Guyana.

Related: Will OPEC+ Declare War On U.S. Shale?

Exxon’s production in the Permian increased by 7 percent in Q3 from Q2 and jumped by more than 70 percent from Q3 2018.

Earlier this year, Exxon revised up its Permian growth plans to produce more than 1 million oil-equivalent barrels per day by as early as 2024.

“Growth in the Permian continues to drive increased liquids production and we are ahead of schedule for first oil in Guyana. The value of our position in Guyana improved further this quarter with an additional discovery, our fourth this year,” chairman and chief executive officer Darren W. Woods said.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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