Exxon Mobil Corp XOM-N on Monday said its first-quarter production results could top a seven-year quarterly record, with operating profits from pumping oil and gas of up to $9.3-billion.
A snapshot of the largest U.S. oil company’s quarter ended March 31 showed operating profits from its oil and gas unit could jump by between $1.9-billion and $2.7-billion over the prior quarter’s $6.6-billion.
Official results are expected to be released on April 29, according to a securities filing.
Exxon does not hedge, or lock in oil sales, and results generally match changes in energy prices. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushed up oil by 45 per cent last quarter over the final period of 2021, to an average of $114 per barrel, the highest in seven years.
The blockbuster oil and gas profits offer a preview of what lies ahead for other firms’ oil earnings. Such results could strengthen calls by U.S. and European Union lawmakers for windfall profits taxes on energy companies.
Final results could be dampened by impairments to Exxon’s Russian operations. The company last month said it would phase out of Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. The oil company has $4-billion in assets at risk to potential seizure and faces a 1 per cent to 2 per cent hit to production and revenue from the move.
“Depending on the terms of its exit from Sakhalin, the company may be required to impair its investment in the project,” it said in a filing.
Operating profits in refining could be up to $300-million higher, while its chemicals business could decrease by as much as $300-million compared to the previous quarter.
First quarter per share profit was projected to be $2.12, according to the mean estimate of 18 analysts tracked by Refinitiv IBES – or year-over-year growth of more than 200 per cent from a year ago. Analysts could review their outlook following Exxon’s estimates.
High oil and gas prices accelerated after Russia’s invasion and sanctions were imposed on its oil, coal and LNG. Global oil prices hit a 14-year high in the first quarter and have since cooled as the U.S. announced a release of emergency stocks and China began a lockdown.
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