ExxonMobil’s third-quarter earnings slide 38%

ExxonMobil Corp. recorded third-quarter earnings of $2.7 billion, down from $4.2 billion a year earlier. The Irving, Tex.-based multinational firm says the results reflect lower refining margins and commodity prices.

Upstream earnings were $620 million in the quarter, down $738 million from third-quarter 2015. Lower liquids and gas realizations decreased earnings by $880 million, while volume and mix effects increased earnings by $80 million. All other items, including lower expenses partly offset by unfavorable foreign exchange effects, increased earnings by $60 million.

US upstream earnings declined $35 million year-over-year to a loss of $477 million, while outside the US, upstream earnings were $1.1 billion, down $703 million from the prior year.

Companywide liquids production totaled 2.2 million boe/d, down 120,000 boe/d year-over-year. Higher downtime, mainly in Nigeria, and field decline were partly offset by project start-ups. Natural gas production was 9.6 bcfd, up 77 MMcfd from 2015 as project startups more than offset field decline and divestment impacts.

Downstream earnings were $1.2 billion, down $804 million from third-quarter 2015. Weaker margins, mainly in refining, decreased earnings by $1.6 billion, while favorable volume and mix effects increased earnings by $170 million. All other items increased earnings by $580 million, including lower maintenance expenses and gains from divestments in Canada.

Earnings from US downstream were $225 million, down $262 million year-over-year. Downstream earnings outside the US of $1 billion were $542 million lower than the prior year.

Chemical earnings of $1.2 billion were $56 million lower than that of third-quarter 2015. Margins decreased earnings by $10 million, while volume and mix effects increased earnings by $20 million. All other items decreased earnings by $70 million due primarily to higher maintenance expenses.

US chemical earnings of $434 million were $92 million lower than in third-quarter 2015. Chemical earnings outside the US of $737 million were $36 million higher than the prior year.

During the quarter, capital and exploration expenses were reduced 45% to $4.2 billion.

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