Exxon Mobil Forecasts First-Quarter Operating Dip Due to Weaker Oil and Gas Prices

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Exxon Mobil signaled a decline in first-quarter operating results on Wednesday, citing weaker oil and gas prices along with substantial losses in fuel derivatives.

The anticipated drop in performance follows two years of robust oil and fuel prices that transformed Exxon Mobil into one of the most profitable energy companies globally. Last year, Exxon Mobil achieved record profit of $11.4 billion for the first quarter.

EIA in a March report said the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects the benchmark spot price to average about $2.25 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in 2024, a 10 percent decrease from 2023 and a 65 percent decrease from 2022.

The primary factors contributing to the downturn in the latest quarter were weak natural gas prices and fuel derivatives, which experienced a reversal from the significant gains observed in the previous year. The snapshot provided by the filing indicates an estimated operating profit of approximately $6.65 billion for the quarter, compared to $11.6 billion in the same period last year and $7.63 billion in the fourth quarter.

According to financial firm LSEG’s estimate, investors are anticipating an adjusted per-share profit of $2.21, down from $2.83 in the same period last year.

The decline in natural gas prices, hitting multi-year lows during the quarter, significantly impacted Exxon’s profits. Moreover, losses in fuel derivatives outweighed gains in gasoline and diesel margins, resulting in a loss of approximately $1.1 billion compared to the previous quarter. Additionally, the company faced increased refining maintenance costs during the period, Reuters news report said.

Despite the projected downturn, Exxon Mobil continues to pursue strategic initiatives, including all-stock deals for U.S. shale oil producer Pioneer Natural Resources and carbon storage firm Denbury.

Exxon Mobil also asserts a preemptive right over Hess Corp’s Guyana assets, which are at the center of Chevron’s $53 billion offer for Hess. This claim is under consideration by an international arbitration panel.

Exxon Mobil is scheduled to release full financial results for the period on April 26, providing a comprehensive overview of its performance and strategic outlook.

GreentechLead.com News Desk

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