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World’s Top Oil Firms Combined Q1 Profits Shrink 4%

Rising U.S. production weighed on oil prices in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, and those lower prices, combined with weak refining margins, impacted the revenues and net profits of many of the world’s largest listed companies in the oil industry.

According to data compiled by Anadolu Agency from the Q1 2019 reports of the 12 top listed companies in the oil industry—ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Eni, Equinor, and Rosneft—the combined net income and revenues at those companies were lower in the first quarter this year compared to Q1 2018.

According to Anadolu Agency’s calculations, the combined revenue of these 12 companies declined by 4.63 percent annually to some US$393.5 billion in Q1 2019. The combined net profits dropped by 4.45 percent—to US$23.6 billion from US$24.7 billion for Q1 2018.

Shell was the top performing company with the highest net profit and revenue in absolute terms, according to Anadolu Agency’s estimates.

Shell was one of the last oil supermajors to report Q1 earnings and it was the one that stood out among the crowd with better-than-expected results, as its trading and natural gas businesses offset weak oil prices and depressed refining margins that plagued the other majors in the Q1 earnings season.

Volatile crude prices and weak refining margins led to lower earnings at all five oil supermajors in the first quarter of 2019, suggesting that Big Oil shouldn’t stay complacent several quarters after the industry emerged from one of the worst downturns in a generation.

Big Oil’s five majors—ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Total, and Shell—reported a mixed bag of results for Q1. While net earnings at all companies were lower than last year’s first quarter on the back of lower average Brent Crude prices compared to Q1 2018 and weak refining margins that battered downstream earnings, some supermajors, such as Shell, met and even exceeded analyst expectations thanks to strong trading profits and to their natural gas businesses.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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