Tuesday, February 02, 2016

ExxonMobil’s Profits Fall, and BP Cites Low Oil Prices in $3.3 Billion Loss

A BP refinery in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The company said it would trim about 3,000 workers from its marketing and refining business by the end of 2017. (Credit: Martin Meissner/Associated Press) Click to Enlarge.
The newest measure of the oil industry’s falling fortunes came on Tuesday in the form of a $3.3 billion fourth-quarter loss reported by BP.

For all of 2015, BP said it lost $6.48 billion, compared with a profit of $3.78 billion in 2014 — before plummeting oil prices began taking their full toll.

ExxonMobil, the industry’s largest player, reported a 58 percent decline in its quarterly profit, hurt also by the fall in oil prices.  The results beat analyst estimates but Exxon’s profit of $2.78 billion was down from $6.57 billion the year before.  Its exploration and production business lost $538 million in the United States, though its total global upstream earnings for the quarter were $857 million.

The results would have been far worse had it not been for its refining and chemical businesses which have been helped by the low oil and natural gas prices, vital inputs.  It had refining and marketing earnings of $1.35 billion, up from $497 million the year before.  With the price of oil near $30 a barrel, the company said it would pare share repurchases as a cost-saving measure.
The industry is reeling from the effects of a global glut of oil and slackening demand on worries of slower international economic growth.  Longer term, there are questions about the value of oil still under the ground and the sea floor, as climate concerns prompt energy users of all sizes to seek alternatives to fossil fuels.

Read more at ExxonMobil’s Profits Fall and BP Cites Low Oil Prices in $3.3 Billion Loss

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