October 28, 2010
By CHRIS KAHN
NEW YORK – Exxon Mobil Corp.’s third-quarter income jumped 55 percent thanks to higher oil prices and increased production.
The world’s largest publicly traded oil company on Thursday reported earnings of $7.35 billion, or $1.44 per share. That compares with $4.73 billion, or 98 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue increased 15.8 percent to $95.3 billion.
Oil companies have seen profits jump as crude prices increased 12 percent year-over-year, and prices should continue to rise. The International Energy Agency forecasts that world oil consumption will grow next year to 88.2 million barrels a day.
Earlier Thursday. Royal Dutch Shell PLC said quarterly profits climbed by 6.5 percent to $3.46 billion with higher oil prices mitigating charges in its refining business. ConocoPhillips reported Wednesday that its income more than doubled for the third straight quarter, earning $3.06 billion for the July-September period.
Selling crude for more money has helped offset unexpected drilling expenses and a drop in Gulf of Mexico production that some companies are starting to see following BP’s giant oil spill earlier this year.
The U.S. shut down deepwater exploration for several months after the April explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig, and regulators set tough new rules that nearly halted drilling activity in the Gulf.
David Rosenthal, Exxon Mobil vice president of investor relations, said the company continues to review the new regulations, though it plans to move forward with a project in the Gulf.
“We plan to submit in the near term our next permit application to get that drill under way,” Rosenthal told analysts in a conference call.
In July, Exxon took the lead in organizing a $1 billion containment network that will eventually be used to respond to future spills in the Gulf.
Exxon, based in Irving, Texas, posted higher profits for most of its businesses; including oil production and exploration, refining and U.S. chemicals. It also cranked up oil production year-over-year, and its refineries made more fuel. The company continued to plow billions of dollars into expanding production and exploration, increasing spending 55 percent to $7.6 billion in the third quarter.
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