U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil Corporation today announced estimated first quarter 2021 earnings of $2.7 billion, compared to a loss of $610 million in the first quarter of 2020. Results included unfavorable identified items of $31 million, the company said. First quarter capital and exploration expenditures were $3.1 billion, $4 billion lower than the first quarter of 2020.
Oil-equivalent production was 3.8 million barrels per day, up 3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2020. Excluding entitlement effects, government mandates and divestments, oil-equivalent production was up 2 percent.
“The strong first quarter results reflect the benefits of higher commodity prices and our focus on structural cost reductions, while prioritizing investments in assets with a low cost of supply,” said Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive officer. “Cash flow from operating activities during the quarter fully covered the dividend and capital investments, and we strengthened the balance sheet by reducing debt. We also made progress on our energy transition strategy by launching our new ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions business, which is initially working to develop innovative, large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) concepts, including the evaluation and advancement of more than 20 new opportunities, such as a multi-industry hub to reduce emissions from hard-to-decarbonize industries near the Houston Ship Channel. As the global leader in carbon capture, we are seeing growing public and private sector support for CCS as a critical enabling technology to reduce emissions and help meet society’s net-zero ambitions.”
During severe winter weather in Texas in February, ExxonMobil cogeneration facilities generated 400 megawatts of electricity, helping to power about 200,000 homes. The severe weather event reduced first quarter earnings by nearly $600 million across all businesses from decreased production and lower sales volumes, repair costs, and the net impact of energy purchases and sales. All affected facilities have resumed normal operations.
First Quarter 2021 Results and Business Highlights
- Average realizations for crude oil increased 42 percent from the fourth quarter. Natural gas realizations rose by 33 percent in the quarter.
- Total production volumes increased 98,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day from the fourth quarter. Excluding entitlement effects, government mandates and divestments, liquids volumes were down 3 percent including impacts from higher maintenance and the winter storm. Natural gas volumes increased 12 percent driven by higher seasonal demand in Europe.
- During the quarter, production volumes in the Permian averaged 394,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day, an increase of 12 percent from the prior year. The focus remains on continuing to grow positive free cash flow by lowering overall development costs and increasing recovery through efficiency gains and technology applications.
The company announced the creation of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions, a new business to commercialize its extensive low-carbon technology portfolio, with an initial focus on carbon capture and storage (CCS), the process of sequestering industrial emissions and safely storing them permanently underground. CCS is considered one of the critical technologies required to achieve society’s net-zero ambitions and the climate goals outlined in the Paris Agreement.
Additionally, during the quarter, ExxonMobil announced the elections of Michael Angelakis, Jeffrey Ubben, and Wan Zulkiflee to its board of directors. With the addition of the new members, the ExxonMobil board increased to 13 directors, 12 of whom are independent. The company has added six new independent directors since 2017 with specific experience in the areas of climate science, asset and risk management, capital allocation, energy and business transition, investor perspectives, and additional energy industry experience.