ExxonMobil first-quarter earnings plunge $3.1 billion

ExxonMobil Corp. posted first-quarter earnings of $1.8 billion compared with $4.9 billion a year earlier. The impacts of sharply lower commodity prices and weaker refining margins were partly offset by strong chemical results.

ExxonMobil Corp. posted first-quarter earnings of $1.8 billion compared with $4.9 billion a year earlier. The impacts of sharply lower commodity prices and weaker refining margins were partly offset by strong chemical results.

Upstream earnings declined $2.9 billion from first-quarter 2015 to a loss of $76 million. Lower liquids and gas realizations decreased earnings by $2.6 billion, the firm says.

Production increased 1.8% from the year-ago period. Liquids production totaled 2.5 million boe/d, up 261,000 boe/d, while natural gas production was 10.7 bcfd, down 1.1 billion cu ft/d from 2015. Project ramp-up was partly offset by regulatory restrictions in the Netherlands, field decline, and asset management impacts.

US upstream operations recorded a loss of $832 million, compared with a loss of $52 million in first-quarter 2015. Non-US upstream earnings were $756 million, down $2.2 billion from the prior year.

Downstream earnings were $906 million, down $761 million year-over-year. Weaker margins decreased earnings by $860 million, ExxonMobil says. Volume and mix effects increased earnings by $10 million. All other items, primarily favorable foreign exchange effects, increased earnings by $90 million.

Earnings from US downstream were $187 million, down $380 million year-over-year. Non-US downstream earnings of $719 million were $381 million lower than last year.

Chemical earnings of $1.4 billion were $373 million higher than the first-quarter 2015. Improved margins increased earnings by $250 million. Favorable volume and mix effects increased earnings by $80 million. All other items, primarily lower expenses, increased earnings by $40 million.

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