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Strong results reported by Exxon Mobil

Exxon Mobil has posted its strongest results since 2017 for the third quarter and committed itself to restarting its stalled share-buyback programme.

Thanks to strong operations and increased demand, the company posted earnings that were $7.4 billion higher than in the same period last year, when it posted a loss of $680 million in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CEO Darren Woods said all three of the company’s businesses – upstream, downstream and chemical – generated earnings, and that its free cash flow could fund debt reduction by another $4 billion and cover the dividend, which was increased for the 39th consecutive year. From next year, it will also start repurchasing up to $10 billion worth of its own shares, although some analysts were disappointed by the scale of the programme.

Woods added that the company’s board would soon sign off on its investment plan for high-return projects and business opportunities in low-carbon areas, adding:

“The strong returns generated by our core businesses provide the near-term cash flows to fund lower-carbon opportunities that leverage our competitive strengths in technology, engineering and project development. We expect to increase the level of spend in lower-emission energy solutions by four times over the prior plan…”

The company recently announced that from 2022 to 2027, it would raise its spending for cutting carbon emissions to $15 billion.

Exxon Mobil’s lubricant business also continued to deliver strong results, with the company crediting reduced operating expenses, better margins on base stocks, and the success of its advanced hydrocracker facility at Rotterdam.

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