Exxon Mobil, Chevron earnings jump on higher oil prices

US oil giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron are investing heavily in shale projects the Permian Basin in Texas (AFP pic)

NEW YORK: US oil giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron reported big jumps in third-quarter earnings Friday helped by higher oil prices, with both companies touting newer US shale investments.

The results for the two biggest oil companies reflected the boon from rising prices, which averaged US$69 a barrel on international markets during the quarter, compared to just US$48 a year earlier, Chevron said.

Exxon Mobil said net income surged 57.1% to US$6.2 billion, while revenues advanced 25.4% to US$76.6 billion.

The results topped analyst expectations and follow a number of earnings disappointments in recent quarters, boosting the company’s share price.

Exxon Mobil has struggled to maintain and grow production as old oil and natural gas projects suffer field decline and new investments take time to come online.

Oil and gas production slipped 2.3% from the comparable quarter of last year, but rose 3.8% from the second quarter, which executives had described as a bottom due in part to outages at key projects.

The company is bullish on new projects in the Permian Basin, a key US shale territory in Texas that helped the company notch higher output in its home market.

“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,” said Chief Executive Darren Woods.

“We expect to continue to increase volumes over time as we ramp up activity in the Permian and new projects start up.”

Chevron reported third-quarter profit of US$4.0 billion, more than doubling the results from last year. Revenues rose 21.5% to US$44 billion.

Chevron said its oil and natural gas production average of 2.96 million barrels per day was a quarterly company record and reflected gains from the ramp-up of the Wheatstone liquefied natural gas project in Australia and new output from the Permian Basin.

“Third quarter earnings more than doubled from a year ago,” said Chevron Chief Executive Michael Wirth. “Our strong financial results reflect higher production and crude oil prices coupled with a continued focus on efficiency and productivity.”

Shares of Exxon Mobil rose 1.3% to US$81.67 in early trading, while Chevron surged 4.6%  to US$116.30.