ExxonMobil Corporation announced second-quarter 2021 earnings estimates of $4.7 billion or $1.10 a share, up from a loss of $1.1 billion in the second quarter of 2020.
Due to rising oil and natural gas demand as well as the best-ever quarterly contributions from chemical and lubricants, earnings grew $5.8 billion over the second quarter of 2020.
Capital and exploration expenditures amounted to $3.8 billion in the second quarter, bringing the first half of 2021 to $6.9 billion, in line with planned lower activity for the first half.
As a result, both the second-half planned spending and the full-year spending will be closer to the lower end of the $16 billion to $19 billion guidance range for the company.
Oil-equivalent production fell 2% from the second quarter of 2020, reflecting an increase in maintenance activities. Including Permian and Guyana production, oil-equivalent production increased 3% when entitlement effects, divestments, and mandates are excluded.
Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive officer, stated that “the global economic recovery increased demand for our products during the second quarter.”
“As a result of an improved cost structure, solid operating performance, and low-cost-of-supply investments, we are realizing significant benefits and generating strong cash flow to fund our capital program, pay dividends, and reduce debt. We saw this particularly in the Chemicals division which produced its best-ever quarter. Toward society’s energy transition goals, Low Carbon Solutions identified new opportunities for effective carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, and low emissions fuels and established new partnerships.”
Second-Quarter Business Highlights
Improving the carbon footprint and reducing emissions
A memorandum of understanding has been signed by the company in connection with a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in Scotland and the development of CO2 infrastructure in France. Approximately 5mil-to-6mil tons of CO2 per year is set to be captured and stored by the Acorn CCS project in Scotland by the year 2030. By 2030, this partnership in France aims to develop CCS technology with an aim to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 3 million tons.
The average realization for crude oil increased by 13% compared to the first quarter. Realizations of natural gas increased by 1% from the previous quarter.
A higher level of planned maintenance caused a decline in liquid volumes. As a result of lower seasonal demand, the volume of natural gas decreased by 10%.
Due to the impact of market oversupply, industry fuel margins improved in the second quarter, but remained below historical averages. A lower operating expense base and improved margins supported Lubricants’ strong performance.
Despite a winter storm in Texas in the first quarter, refinery throughput rose 3%. The refinery operations continued to be managed in line with fuel demand and chemical manufacturing requirements.
Based on reliable operations, higher margins, and cost discipline, the company posted the best-ever quarterly earnings of $2.3 billion.
As a result of strong demand and regional supply constraints, the industry margins improved in the third quarter. The regional advantage of North America in ethane feed increased.
Capital allocation and structural cost improvement
As previously communicated, ExxonMobil is expected to have a capital program in 2021 of approximately $16 billion to $19 billion. Through the first half of the year, capital expenditures amounted to approximately $7 billion. Priorities for capital expenditures at the company continue to include investing in advantaged projects, strengthening the balance sheet, and dividend payments.