News Column

Exxon and Conoco both buoyed by rise in US natural gas prices

May 2, 2014


ENERGY giants ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips both topped forecasts yesterday, buoyed by the rising price of natural gas during the bitterly cold American winter.

A day after Shell impressed the market with a jump in gas earnings, Exxon and Conoco said they had partially offset the effects of lower output and asset disposals respectively with soaring receipts from gas.

ConocoPhillips reported a flat quarterly profit of $2.1bn (1.2bn), which was also boosted by growth in North American shale and oilsands projects in Canada.

Conoco, which shed its refining operations in 2012, is investing heavily to drill in rock formations like the Eagle Ford in south Texas, where returns are higher and projects have less risk.

Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil reported first-quarter net income of $9.1bn, down from $9.5bn in the year-ago quarter.

Total production fell about six per cent to 4.2m barrels of oil equivalent per day. However, the firm's average US natural gas sale price rocketed 49 per cent.

ExxonMobil is building a liquefied natural gas plant with Rosneft, Russia''s state-controlled oil giant, on Russia''s eastern coast. The plant, which Exxon executives have repeatedly said will not be deterred by the Ukrainian political situation, is expected to be online by 2019.

On Wednesday, the firm announced that it was hiking its dividend by 10 per cent.

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Source: City A.M. (UK)

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