Exxon ups production to counter falling prices in record Q1

Exxon Mobil more than doubled its profit during the first quarter, producing more oil to overcome energy prices that have declined during a period of economic unease.

Net oil and gas net production jumped by nearly 300,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day compared with the same period last year, which was marked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and soaring energy prices. Last year at this time, a barrel of U.S. crude was trading above $100, about 30% higher than today.

Exxon earned $11.43 billion, or $2.79 per share, for the three months ended March 31. Per-share adjusted earning were $2.83, topping Wall Street projections of $2.65, and it more than twice the $5.48 billion, or $1.28 per share, it earned during the first quarter last year.

Exxon does not adjust its reported results based on one-time events such as asset sales.

Revenue for the Irving, Texas-based company was $86.56 billion, down from $90.5 billion a year earlier, and just shy of analyst expectations.

Net production was 3.8 million oil-equivalent barrels per day, up nearly 160,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day compared with the year-ago period. Excluding divestments, entitlements and the Sakhalin-1 expropriation, net production climbed almost 300,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day driven by projects in Guyana and the Permian.

“We are growing value by increasing production from our advantaged assets to meet global demand,” Chairman and CEO Darren Woods said in a statement.

The price for a barrel of benchmark U.S. crude has fallen more than 6% this year, however, and it’s fallen 29% over the past 12 months. Central banks have been attempting to cool their respective economies because of elevated inflation and evidence of those maneuvers have begun to appear.

The U.S. reported this week that its economy slowed sharply from January through March, decelerating to just a 1.1% annual pace as higher interest rates hammered the housing market and businesses reduced their inventories.

U.S. benchmark crude oil was at $75.25 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday, while brent crude, the international standard, was at $78.74 per barrel.

Elsewhere in the sector, Chevron Corp.’s first-quarter performance topped Wall Street’s view. The San Ramon, California-based company posted a profit of $6.57 billion. Its adjusted earnings totaled $3.55 per share, while revenue came in at $50.79 billion.

Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. moved into positive territory after its quarterly results were released early Friday.