Skip to main content

ExxonMobil Earns $4 Billion in Second Quarter

Jul 27, 2018 08:06AM ● By Camille Mosley

(BUSINESS WIRE) Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) announced estimated second quarter 2018 earnings of $4 billion, or $0.92 per share assuming dilution, compared with $3.4 billion a year earlier. Cash flow from operations and asset sales was $8.1 billion, including proceeds associated with asset sales of $307 million. During the quarter, the corporation distributed $3.5 billion in dividends to shareholders. Capital and exploration expenditures were $6.6 billion, up 69 percent from the prior year, reflecting key investments in Brazil, the U.S. Permian Basin and Indonesia.

Oil-equivalent production was 3.6 million barrels per day, down 7 percent from the second quarter of 2017. Excluding entitlement effects and divestments, liquids production increased as growth in the Permian and Bakken in the U.S. and Hebron in Canada more than offset decline and higher downtime driven by scheduled maintenance. Natural gas volumes decreased 10 percent, excluding entitlement effects and divestments, largely due to a continuing shift in U.S. unconventional development from dry gas to liquids and to downtime in Qatar, Australia, and Papua New Guinea.

“Key projects in Guyana, the U.S. Permian Basin, Brazil, Mozambique and Papua New Guinea are positioning us well to meet the objectives we outlined in our long-term earnings growth plans. The high quality of these resources, combined with our strengths in project execution and innovation, will generate strong value over time,” said Darren W. Woods, chairman and chief executive officer. “Second quarter results were primarily impacted by significant scheduled maintenance undertaken to support operational integrity. In addition, while we were pleased with the return of full production following the PNG earthquake, extended recoveries from first quarter operational incidents in the Downstream were disappointing. However, good progress was made during the second quarter in fully recovering from these incidents.”

Second Quarter 2018 Business Highlights


  • Crude prices strengthened in the second quarter, while natural gas prices were mixed.
  • U.S. tight oil growth in the Permian and Bakken continued, reaching over 250,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day in the second quarter, an increase of 30 percent from the same period last year. The Hebron field in Canada continued to exceed expectations, ramping up to 25,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day in the second quarter.
  • Natural gas volumes were impacted by lower seasonal demand in Europe, deliberate near-term shifting of investments in U.S. unconventionals from gas to liquids and downtime in LNG operations, notably in Qatar.
  • Production at Papua New Guinea returned to normal operations in April and reached record daily LNG production rates in June. Second quarter volume loss associated with the earthquake recovery was 17,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day.
  • Scheduled maintenance activities were undertaken to support operational integrity, largely in Canada at Syncrude, Cold Lake and Kearl, impacting volumes and expenses in second quarter.


  • Global refining margins strengthened during the quarter due to higher industry refinery maintenance activity and increased seasonal petroleum product demand.
  • Overall throughput and earnings were impacted by heavy turnaround and maintenance activities during the quarter. Planned turnarounds were successfully completed at the refineries in Saudi Arabia, Port-Jérȏme, France, Baytown and Beaumont, Texas, and Alberta, Canada. Unplanned maintenance, a majority of which was carried-in from the first quarter, was largely completed during the quarter.
  • Growth in higher-value sales of retail fuels in the U.S., Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, combined with record quarterly sales of Mobil 1 lubricants in the U.S. and China, resulted in improved earnings during the quarter.
  • Depreciation in the Euro and British pound relative to the U.S. dollar negatively impacted earnings.


  • ExxonMobil continued to make significant progress in growing the Chemical business. Second quarter sales were the highest since 2007, and new volumes in Singapore and the U.S. contributed more than 530,000 metric tons of sales during the quarter. This included an additional 145,000 metric tons of high-performance products as the company continued to strengthen its leading position in this market.
  • Chemical margins weakened during the quarter as higher feed and energy costs outpaced stronger realizations.

Strengthening the Portfolio

  • ExxonMobil announced its eighth oil discovery offshore Guyana at the Longtail-1 well, creating the potential for additional resource development in the southeast area of the Stabroek Block. ExxonMobil encountered approximately 256 feet (78 meters) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone.
  • The company continued to rapidly advance the Liza Phase 1 project with the start of development drilling offshore Guyana. Development drilling began in May for the first of 17 wells planned for Phase 1, laying the foundation for production startup in 2020. The company and its co-venturers have so far discovered estimated recoverable resources of more than 4 billion oil-equivalent barrels on the Stabroek Block.
  • ExxonMobil completed the purchase of half of Equinor ASA’s interest in the BM-S-8 block offshore Brazil, which contains part of the pre-salt Carcara oil field. Production from the field is expected to start in 2023-2024. The company also increased its holdings in Brazil’s pre-salt basins after winning the Uirapuru exploration block with co-venturers Equinor ASA and Petrogal Brasil SA during Brazil’s fourth pre-salt bid round. ExxonMobil now has interests in 25 blocks offshore Brazil.
  • Qatar Petroleum agreed to partner with ExxonMobil by acquiring a 30 percent interest in two ExxonMobil affiliates, ExxonMobil Exploration Argentina SRL and Mobil Argentina SA, which hold interests in the Vaca Muerta unconventional shale oil and gas plays in Neuquén Province, Argentina. This agreement expands the successful partnership with Qatar Petroleum, and underscores the commitment to develop Argentina’s resources to further support domestic production.
  • ExxonMobil and Eni SpA announced that marketing efforts are underway for the Rovuma LNG project, which will produce, liquefy and sell natural gas from the Area 4 block offshore Mozambique. The company is in active negotiations on binding sales and purchase agreements for Rovuma LNG.