As oil prices rose in the first three months of the year, Exxon Mobil Corp. reported that its quarterly profit jumped 38%.
That marks the first year-over-year increase in profits for Exxon since it posted an all-time record of $14.83 billion in the third quarter of 2008.
Still, earnings remain significantly below that level. During the first three months of this year, the Irving, Texas, oil giant had a profit of $6.3 billion, or $1.33 per share. That compares with $4.55 billion, or 92 cents per share, in the same period last year. Two years ago, Exxon earned $10.89 billion in the first quarter.
Revenue increased 41% to $90.25 billion.
Exxon's profit relied heavily on its exploration and production of oil and gas. Oil prices surged over the past 12 months, jumping from a low of $33 a barrel in the first quarter of 2009 to more than $80 a barrel this year. The company responded to the rise in price by pumping more from the ground, boosting production 4.5% from the first quarter of 2009.
Natural gas prices flattened during the quarter, however. Exxon said increased natural gas production boosted profits by $190 million nevertheless.
Exxon said it plans to complete its acquisition of natural gas producer XTO by the end of the second quarter.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.