Exxon Mobil profit plunges by 66 per cent

EXXON Mobil, the US oil giant, posted a steeper-than-expected 66 per cent fall in second-quarter profit as natural gas and crude oil prices slid from a year ago and the global recession hurt demand for fuel.<br /><br />Exxon Mobil, which raked in record profits last year, has seen earnings wither as crude oil prices have fallen by more than half from a year ago. Refiners have also seen margins under pressure as weakness in industrial demand for fuels like diesel has caused a build up in stockpiles.<br /><br />Exxon Mobil, the world&rsquo;s largest publicly traded oil company, said second-quarter net income was $3.95bn (&pound;2.39bn), down from $11.7bn a year earlier. Sales fell 46 per cent to $74.5bn.<br /><br />&ldquo;Global economic conditions continue to impact the energy industry both in the volatility of commodity prices and reduced demand for products,&rdquo; said chief executive Rex Tillerson. Earnings in the firm&rsquo;s exploration and production business fell 62 per cent to $3.8bn, while earnings in the refining unit fell 67 per cent to $512m.<br /><br />In the first six months of the year, Exxon Mobil said it spent $12.3bn, in line with its longer-term plan for capital spending of $125bn over 5 years.