ExxonMobil sees profits double thanks to stable oil prices

ExxonMobil, which makes industrial lubricants like Mobilgear 600 XP 68 and high-performance engine oils like Mobil 1 New Life 0W/40, has reported that its first-quarter profits were up 122% over the same quarter last year, mostly due to stable oil prices and savings from efficiency improvements.

While the reported $4.1bn net income is a considerable improvement on last year’s first-quarter figure, it is still some way off the 2014 first-quarter profits of $9.4bn, when Brent crude prices were over $100 per barrel. Despite oil prices being roughly half that now, the financial results show the company is adapting well to this lower, but stable, oil price.

In a statement, recently appointed CEO Darren Woods said:

“Our results reflect an increase in commodity prices and highlight our continued focus on controlling costs and operating efficiently.”

The improved financial results mostly derive from the company’s exploration and production division, which has reversed a loss of $76m into a profit of $2.3bn. The US portion of the division continues to run at a loss, however, albeit a drastically reduced one ($18m) when compared to the previous year ($832m). Total production of oil-equivalent products was also 4% down.

In addition to benefiting from higher oil prices and efficiency savings, the company’s earnings were also boosted by a 19% reduction in exploration and capital investment.

Despite exceeding the expected profit of $3.6bn as predicted by S&P Global Market Intelligence, Exxon shares were largely unaffected, rising just 0.6% in late trading.