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Q3 figures generally good for oil majors

There was good Q3 news for all of the oil majors, although ConocoPhillips suffered from reduced output.

ExxonMobil saw its earnings (excluding special items) lift by 41% year-on-year at $10.3bn for Q3 helped by increased oil and gas sales and better refining margins, despite oil-equivalent production dropping 4% from the same period last year.  The company's capital and exploration expenditure was $8.6bn, taking it to a record nine-month high of $26.7bn as the company expands its activities to meet global demand.

Shell announced earnings of $7.2bn for the third quarter of 2011, more than double the $3.5bn for the same period last year.  Upstream revenues improved by $2bn, although were largely flat against the previous quarter,  with production showing a 2% improvement and LNG sales up 12%.  Downstream also showed a $400m increase, helped by chemical earnings.

At the same time, Chevron also revealed a signficant uplift on Q3 earnings at $7.8bn from $3.8bn in 2010.  Sales rose from $48bn to $61bn largely as a result of improved crude and refined product prices.  The company is looking to its latest Wheatstone and Gorgon LNG developments in Australia to boost its energy supply to the Asia-Pacific region.

Another company set to benefit from Australian LNG projects is ConocoPhillips, which revealed adjusted Q3 earnings of $3.5bn against $2.2bn in 2011, although un-adjusted earnings fell from $3.1bn last year to $2.6bn. The company has had a mixed quarter with commodity prices helping to boost revenues, but feeling the effects of the political unrest in Libya and the spill in China's Bohai Bay, both of which resulted in suspended operation and a signficant drop in output. On the more positive side, the company has sanctioned its Australia Pacific LNG project, set to mine one of the largest coal seam gas reserves in Australia.

Tags: Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Corporate News, ExxonMobil, Shell

Published 3rd November, 2011

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