Exxon profits soar on higher energy prices

EXXON Mobil Corp’s profit soared 41 per cent in the third quarter, as gains in crude oil prices and higher refining margins boosted results.

The world’s largest publicly traded oil company, reported a profit of $10.33bn (£6.4bn) up from $7.35bn a year earlier.

Profit in the company’s exploration and production business rose 54 per cent while its refining business saw profit rise 36 per cent.

However, Exxon suffered a drop in oil and natural gas production by four per cent to 4.28m barrels oil equivalent (boe) per day in the quarter, its first drop in production since the second quarter of 2009.

The decline in production came despite the fact that Exxon spent a record $26.7bn in the first nine months of the year.

The company is spending heavily to increase its shale gas production, especially in North America, to help boost the profitability of its domestic asset.

Last year, it closed a deal for gas producer XTO Energy, and the oil company has steadily been purchasing acreage in shale fields like the Marcellus in the Eastern United States.

Shares yesterday closed at $81.88 in New York last night, up by one per cent on the day.