Exxon Mobil Corporation today announced estimated first quarter 2015 earnings of $4.9 billion, or $1.17 per diluted share, compared with $9.1 billion a year earlier, demonstrating the value of the company’s integrated businesses in a lower commodity price environment.
“ExxonMobil’s balanced portfolio delivered solid financial results in the quarter,” said Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer. “Regardless of current market conditions, we remain focused on business fundamentals and competitive advantages that create long-term shareholder value.”
During the quarter, ExxonMobil produced 4.2 million oil-equivalent barrels per day, an increase of 97,000 barrels per day over the first quarter of 2014. Volumes were up 2.3 percent, benefiting from new developments in Papua New Guinea, Canada, Angola, Indonesia, and U.S. onshore liquids plays. Field decline and maintenance impacts were mostly offset by higher entitlement volumes.
Downstream and Chemical segment earnings were strong across all regions, driven by lower feedstock costs, improved demand, and the company’s competitive product and asset mix.
During the quarter, the corporation distributed $3.9 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and share purchases to reduce shares outstanding.
First Quarter Highlights
- Earnings of $4.9 billion decreased 46 percent from the first quarter of 2014.
- Earnings per share were $1.17 assuming dilution, a decrease of 44 percent.
- Capital and exploration expenditures were $7.7 billion, down 9 percent from the first quarter of 2014, in line with plan.
- Oil-equivalent production increased 2.3 percent from the first quarter of 2014, with liquids up 6 percent and gas down 1.6 percent.
- Cash flow from operations and asset sales was $8.5 billion, including proceeds associated with asset sales of $484 million.
- The corporation distributed $3.9 billion to shareholders in the first quarter of 2015, including $1 billion in share purchases to reduce shares outstanding.
- Dividends per share of $0.69 increased 9.5 percent compared with the first quarter of 2014.
- Production started at the Sakhalin-1 project’s Arkutun-Dagi field, the last of the three fields to be developed. Peak daily gross production from the field is expected to reach 90,000 barrels and will bring total daily production at Sakhalin-1 to more than 200,000 barrels.
- Production started at Hadrian South in the Gulf of Mexico with ExxonMobil’s deepest subsea tie-back. Daily gross production is expected to reach approximately 300 million cubic feet of gas and 3,000 barrels of liquids from two wells.
- Oil production started ahead of schedule at the Kizomba Satellites Phase 2 project offshore Angola. This capital-efficient project utilizes subsea tie-backs to optimize existing Block 15 facilities, increasing current production levels without requiring additional floating production, storage and offloading vessels. The project develops approximately 190 million barrels of oil with peak production currently estimated at 70,000 gross barrels of oil per day. The project is expected to increase total daily Block 15 production to 350,000 barrels.
- Construction of an 84 megawatt cogeneration plant is underway at the Singapore refinery, which will improve the energy efficiency of the site upon completion. The project will enable the shutdown of less efficient power generation facilities and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This project underscores ExxonMobil’s commitment to improving energy efficiency, lowering emissions, and reducing costs.
- Drilling resumed at Point Thomson on Alaska’s North Slope as construction continues toward bringing the initial production systems, designed to produce up to 10,000 gross barrels per day of natural gas condensate, online in 2016. The initial production will provide reservoir development insights and economic benefits to Alaskans.
First Quarter 2015 vs. First Quarter 2014
Upstream earnings were $2.9 billion in the first quarter of 2015, down $4.9 billion from the first quarter of 2014. Lower liquids and gas realizations decreased earnings by $5.5 billion. Higher volumes and mix effects increased earnings by $340 million, reflecting growth from new developments. All other items, including favorable tax effects, increased earnings by $250 million.
On an oil-equivalent basis, production increased 2.3 percent from the first quarter of 2014. Liquids production totaled 2.3 million barrels per day, up 129,000 barrels per day, while natural gas production was 11.8 billion cubic feet per day, down 188 million cubic feet per day from 2014. Project ramp-up and entitlement effects were partly offset by field decline and maintenance activities.
The U.S. Upstream operations recorded a loss of $52 million, down $1.3 billion from the first quarter of 2014. Non-U.S. Upstream earnings were $2.9 billion, down $3.6 billion from the prior year.
Downstream earnings were $1.7 billion, up $854 million from the first quarter of 2014. Stronger margins increased earnings by $1 billion. Volume and mix effects increased earnings by $70 million. All other items, primarily higher maintenance expense, decreased earnings by $260 million. Petroleum product sales of 5.8 million barrels per day were flat with the prior year’s first quarter.
Earnings from the U.S. Downstream were $567 million, down $56 million from the first quarter of 2014. Non-U.S. Downstream earnings of $1.1 billion were $910 million higher than last year.
Chemical earnings of $982 million were $65 million lower than the first quarter of 2014. Improved margins increased earnings by $240 million. Favorable volume mix effects increased earnings by $30 million. All other items, primarily unfavorable foreign exchange effects, decreased earnings by $340 million. First quarter prime product sales of 6.1 million metric tons were 59,000 metric tons lower than last year’s first quarter.
Corporate and financing expenses were $564 million for the first quarter of 2015, essentially flat with the first quarter of 2014.
During the first quarter of 2015, Exxon Mobil Corporation purchased 20 million shares of its common stock for the treasury at a gross cost of $1.8 billion. These purchases included $1 billion to reduce the number of shares outstanding, with the balance used to acquire shares in conjunction with the company’s benefit plans and programs. Share purchases to reduce shares outstanding are currently anticipated to equal $1 billion in the second quarter of 2015. Purchases may be made in both the open market and through negotiated transactions, and may be increased, decreased or discontinued at any time without prior notice.
Frequently Used Terms
This press release includes cash flow from operations and asset sales, which is a non-GAAP financial measure. Because of the regular nature of our asset management and divestment program, we believe it is useful for investors to consider proceeds associated with the sales of subsidiaries, property, plant and equipment, and sales and returns of investments together with cash provided by operating activities when evaluating cash available for investment in the business and financing activities. A reconciliation to net cash provided by operating activities is shown in Attachment II. References to quantities of oil or natural gas may include amounts that we believe will ultimately be produced, but that are not yet classified as “proved reserves” under SEC definitions. Further information on ExxonMobil’s frequently used financial and operating measures and other terms is contained under the heading “Frequently Used Terms” available through the “Investors” section of our website at exxonmobil.com.
Reference to Earnings
References to corporate earnings mean net income attributable to ExxonMobil (U.S. GAAP) from the consolidated income statement. Unless otherwise indicated, references to earnings, Upstream, Downstream, Chemical and Corporate and Financing segment earnings, and earnings per share are ExxonMobil’s share after excluding amounts attributable to noncontrolling interests.
The term “project” as used in this release can refer to a variety of different activities and does not necessarily have the same meaning as in any government payment transparency reports.
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