Exxon Mobil profit surged in the first quarter on the back of the oil price recovery

Courtney Goldsmith
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Gas prices are posted at an Exxon statio...
US oil giant Exxon Mobil had a strong quarter (Source: Getty)

Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil producer, more than doubled quarterly profit as oil prices lifted and cost cutting measures paid off in the first three months of the year.

The figures

For the first quarter of 2017, Exxon posted net income of $4.01bn (£3.13bn), or 95 cents per share, a 122 per cent increase from $1.81bn, or 43 cents per share, the previous year.

Production fell four per cent to 4.2m barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) while capital and exploration expenditures dropped 19 per cent from the first quarter of 2016 to $4.2bn.

Shares in the Texas-based group rose 1.6 per cent to $82.60 in pre-market trading.

Why it's interesting

Like all oil producers, Exxon was hit by the downturn in the oil market when Brent crude fell below $30 a barrel. While prices have not recovered to their 2014 levels of more than $100 a barrel, they are up 50 per cent since early 2015.

Exxon's oil and gas division still posted a loss in the first quarter as the recovery process has been slow.

The group has worked to expand its growth potential by snapping up reserves around the world, with deals in Texas and Mozambique taking place in the first quarter.

Read more: ExxonMobil buys InterOil in $2.5bn deal to explore gas in Papua New Guinea

Rex Tillerson, former boss of the company, left the company after he was appointed as US President Donald Trump's secretary of state late last year.

What Exxon Mobil said

Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive, said:

"Our results reflect an increase in commodity prices and highlight our continued focus on controlling costs and operating efficiently.

"We continue to make strategic acquisitions, advance key initiatives and fund long-term growth projects across the value chain.”

Read more: BP shares lift on takeover speculation

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