ExxonMobil on July 31 reported a 14% jump in quarterly net profit to a record $11.68 billion. Revenues surged 40% from the same period a year ago to $138 billion in the April-June period, lifted by record-high crude oil prices.
Chairman Rex Tillerson said however that record oil and gas prices "were partly offset by lower refining and chemical margins, lower production volumes and higher operating costs."
The company set aside $290 million to cover maximum punitive damages set by the recent Supreme Court ruling in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case. Without that, the earnings would be $11.97 billion.
The results come after a banner year for the company as crude oil prices soared on strong demand, particularly in China and India.
In the most recent quarter, the company said the overwhelming share of its profits, $10 billion, came from the upstream area of exploration and production. That was a 68% jump from a year ago. The downstream segment including refining and marketing saw a 54% drop in operating profit to $1.558 billion. In chemicals, profits fell 32% to $687 million.
ExxonMobil posted a 2007 profit of $40.6 billion, the largest U.S. corporate annual profit in history. The company has been vilified for profiting from high energy costs that have battered consumers. But the industry argues that its profits are in line with those of other sectors and that oil and gas require massive investments.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008