Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
Oil giant, ExxonMobil’s profits more than doubled in the first three months of this year, helped by the increased demand for oil and gas, a Reuters report has said.
The US energy firm said cost-cutting measures also contributed to its record $11.4 billion (£9.1 billion) first-quarter profits, up from $5.5 billion a year earlier.
The jump came despite falling oil prices and a $200 million hit from windfall taxes the company paid in Europe. Rival US oil firm Chevron also reported an increase in its profits.
It made nearly $6.6 billion between January and March, up 5 per cent from the same time a year ago. It also paid a $130 million “energy profits levy” or windfall tax in the UK. This week Shell and BP are both set to report their latest results.
Like other big energy companies, Exxon has faced criticism about how much it has returned to shareholders off the back of high oil and gas prices.
It said shareholders would receive $8.1 billion including dividends and $375 million in share buybacks. ExxonMobil added that the rise in profits included a $3.4 billion after-tax reduction to exit Russia.
“We delivered a first-quarter record despite the fact that energy prices and refining margins are softening a bit,” Chief Financial Officer, Kathryn Mikells, told Reuters.
The biggest contributor to the better-than-expected earnings came from strong production growth, driven by the start-up of new offshore developments and refining facilities, she said.
Exxon is currently caught up in a legal case with the European Union (EU). It is suing the EU in an attempt to stop its new windfall tax on oil firms.
It has accused Brussels of exceeding its legal authority, calling the measure “counter-productive” and argued, along with other players in the sector, that the tax would discourage investment.