Exxon clamps down on spending, 4Q revenue nearly flat

With all of the challenges of 2020, ExxonMobil focused on clamping down on expenses and managed to bring its full-year spending down nearly $10 billion from the year before.

Spending for the year totaled $21.4 billion, which included $4.8 billion in fourth-quarter capital and exploration expenditures.

The company lowered annual cash operating expenses by $8 billion, with $3 billion of that being structural reductions. Exxon anticipates additional annual savings of $3 billion by 2023, resulting in total structural annual expense reductions of $6 billion, including savings from a global workforce reduction.

For the fourth quarter, Exxon lost $20.07 billion, or $4.70 per share. A year earlier, it earned $5.69 billion, or $1.33 per share.

Excluding an impairment charge and other items, Exxon lost 3 cents per share. Analysts were looking for a profit of a penny per share, according to a FactSet survey.

Revenue declined to $46.54 billion from $67.17 billion, nearly flat with Wall Street’s expectations.

Shares rose 2% before the market open on Tuesday.

Oil-equivalent production totaled 3.7 million barrels per day, consistent with the third quarter. Production was reduced by government mandated curtailments. Excluding entitlement effects, divestments, and government mandates, liquids production increased 5%, while natural gas volumes increased 2%.

Production volumes in the Permian averaged 418,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day, an increase of 42% from the prior year.

Exxon also said that it was creating a new low carbon solutions unit to commercialize its extensive low-carbon technology portfolio. The division will advance plans for more than 20 new carbon capture and sequestration opportunities to enable large-scale emission reductions.

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