EXXONMOBIL has announced an estimated earnings of $4 billion, or $0.95 per share in its first quarter 2017, Q1’17, financial reports as against $1.8 billion in the corresponding period of last year. The company disclosed that upstream volumes were 4.2 million oil-equivalent barrels per day, a decline of four percent compared with the prior year, primarily due to the impact of lower entitlements due to increasing prices, and higher maintenance.

Also, upstream earnings of $2.3 billion improved on higher liquids and gas realisations; while downstream earnings of $1.1 billion benefited from increased refinery throughput and chemical earnings of $1.2 billion were impacted primarily by lower margins,” the company said. The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Darren W. Woods, stated: “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.” The report reads: “On an oil-equivalent basis, production decreased 4 percent from the first quarter of 2016. Liquids production of 2.3 million barrels per day decreased 205,000 barrels per day due to lower entitlements and higher maintenance activity mainly in Canada and Nigeria.

“First quarter highlights showed that earnings of $4 billion increased 122 percent from the first quarter of 2016; earnings per share assuming dilution were $0.95; cash flow from operations and asset sales was $8.9 billion, including proceeds associated with asset sales of $687 million and capital and exploration expenditures were $4.2 billion, down 19 percent from the first quarter of 2016.”

The corporation distributed $3.1 billion in dividends to shareholders; dividends per share of $0.75 increased 2.7 percent compared with the first quarter of 2016 and during the quarter, ExxonMobil completed the acquisitions of InterOil Corporation and companies with oil and gas properties primarily in the Permian Basin. “ExxonMobil and Eni S.p.A signed a sale and purchase agreement to enable ExxonMobil acquires a 25 percent indirect interest in the natural gas-rich Area 4 block, offshore Mozambique, for approximately $2.8 billion.”

The acquisition will be completed following satisfaction of a number of conditions precedents, including clearance from regulatory authorities. The company secured additional high-potential exploration acreage in Papua New Guinea, Cyprus and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.” “Upstream earnings were $2.3 billion, compared to a loss of $76 million in the first quarter of 2016. Higher liquids and gas realizations increased earnings by $2.3 billion. Lower volume and mix effects decreased earnings by $150 million.

All other items increased earnings by $170 million primarily as a result of lower expenses. Natural gas production of 10.9 billion cubic feet per day increased 184 million cubic feet per day from 2016 as project ramp-up was partly offset by field decline,” it added.