ExxonMobil reported estimated earnings of $5.7 billion for fourth quarter (Q4) 2019, up from the $3.2 billion reported in the year’s third quarter and down from the $6.0 billion reported for the quarter one year ago.
Full year earnings were $14.3 billion compared to 2018 full year earnings of $21 billion. Earnings included favorable identified items of about $3.9 billion, or $0.92 per share assuming dilution, mainly a $3.7 billion gain from the Norway upstream divestment.
Capital and exploration expenditures for the quarter were $8.5 billion, including key investments in the Permian basin.
Cash flow from operating activities in the quarter were $6.4 billion and $29.7 billion for the year.
Upstream earnings were $6.1 billion for the quarter, compared to $3.3 billion a year ago and $2.2 billion in third quarter 2019.
Downstream earned $898 million in the quarter, down from year-ago earnings of $2.7 billion and the $1.2 billion reported in third-quarter 2019.
The chemical segment reported a loss for the quarter of $355 million compared to third quarter 2019 earnings of $241 million and year ago earnings of $737 million.
Fourth quarter oil-equivalent production was in line with the fourth quarter of 2018, at 4 million b/d, with a 4% increase in liquids offset by a 5% decrease in gas. Excluding entitlement effects and divestments, liquids production increased 2% driven by Permian basin growth, while natural gas volumes decreased 4%. Permian unconventional development continued with production up 54% from fourth-quarter 2018.
“Our operations performed well, while short-term supply length in the downstream and chemicals businesses impacted margins and financial results,” said Darren W. Woods, chairman and chief executive officer.
“Growth in demand for the products that underpin our businesses remains strong. We remain focused on improving our base businesses, driving efficiencies, and optimizing the value of our investment portfolio.”
In the downstream segment, industry fuels margins were significantly lower than third quarter, reflecting seasonally lower demand and increased supply from reduced industry maintenance.
Scheduled refinery maintenance was higher in the fourth quarter, including turnarounds at the company’s refineries in Beaumont, Texas, Altona (Australia), Fawley (UK), Nanticoke (Canada), Sarnia (Canada), and Sriracha (Thailand).
Margins weakened further in the chemicals segment during the quarter from already depressed levels, with supply length from recent industry capacity additions and higher feed costs, the company said.