resim 2100
resim 2100

(New York) U.S. oil and gas giants ExxonMobil and Chevron saw first-quarter profits swell despite lower energy prices, thanks in part to their refining operations and cost-cutting measures.

ExxonMobil in particular did well: its net profit more than doubled from the same period in 2022 to $11.4 billion, a record for a first quarter.

Chevron’s net profit rose 5% to $6.6 billion.

Black gold prices quoted in New York, which had climbed above the 100 dollar mark in March 2022, have since settled under the effect of the economic slowdown and are currently fluctuating between 70 and 80 dollars .

ExxonMobil’s total revenue fell 4% to $86.6 billion. That of Chevron by 7% to 50.8 billion dollars.

But ExxonMobil produced more: 3.8 million barrels per day of oil equivalent, or 160,000 barrels more than in 2022, with new projects in Guyana and the Permian Basin in the United States.

At the same time, the company sold more transformed hydrocarbons, benefiting in the process from higher refining margins. It has benefited in particular from the commissioning of the extension of its Beaumont refinery on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, which allows it to process 250,000 barrels more each day.

The company, however, sold fewer chemicals and at lower margins.

ExxonMobil “increases its value by increasing production in its most advantageous projects to meet global demand”, noted its boss, Darren Woods.

A key consideration going forward will be how much demand will grow in China as the country emerges from health restrictions, he said in an interview with CNBC. In a “tight” market, “there are not many levers to pull on production,” he pointed out.

At the same time, his group continues to implement its cost reduction plan providing for savings of around $9 billion per year at the end of 2023 compared to 2019.

Hit at the start of the pandemic by the fall in energy prices, the company had embarked on a major program to cut expenses. It has since benefited from the sharp rebound in oil and gas prices.

The jump in its net profit is also linked to the fact that it had recorded a heavy charge over the same period in 2022 linked to its departure from a large project in Russia.

Chevron, for its part, extracted less hydrocarbons (-3%), in particular due to the end of a concession in Thailand.

But the group also says it has benefited from “higher margins on sales of refined products”.

On the other side of the Atlantic, TotalEnergies also announced on Thursday an increase in its net profit, of 12% to 5.6 billion dollars, despite a drop in its turnover.

Italian hydrocarbon giant Eni, on the other hand, reported on Friday that it saw its first quarter net profit fall by 33%.

Both ExxonMobil and Chevron recorded charges of $200 million and $130 million, respectively, related to additional energy taxes in Europe.

They also generously rewarded their shareholders, with ExxonMobil paying them a total of $8.1 billion and Chevron $6.6 billion.

The two companies also said they used part of their profits to invest in reducing carbon emissions, including carbon capture and storage projects.

ExxonMobil shares rose 1.5% in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange while Chevron shares fell 0.7%.