Exxon Mobil Corp. had fourth-quarter 2021 earnings of $8.9 billion, up from $6.7 billion in third-quarter 2021, and resulting in full-year earnings of $23 billion. Capital and exploration expenditures were $5.8 billion in the fourth quarter and $16.6 billion for the full year 2021, in line with guidance.
The company generated $48 billion of cash flow from operating activities for the year, the highest level since 2012, including $17.1 billion for fourth-quarter 2021.
For full-year 2021, the company paid down $20 billion in debt, including $9 billion in the fourth quarter, returning the balance sheet to pre-pandemic levels of less than $48 billion.
Capital spending for 2022 is expected to be $21-24 billion, an increase over 2021, with the largest increase in spending to come from increasing activity in the Permian basin and Brazil. The operator plans to spend $1 billion in lower-emission investments across all segments.
Oil-equivalent production in the fourth quarter was 3.8 million b/d. Excluding entitlement effects, divestments, and government mandates, oil-equivalent production increased 2% versus the prior-year quarter, and was also up 2% versus the prior year, driven by demand recovery.
In 2021, production volumes in the Permian basin increased nearly 100,000 boe/d to about 460,000 boe/d with improved capital efficiency.