ExxonMobil said Tuesday that 2011 fourth quarter earnings were $9.4 billion, up 2% from the fourth quarter a year ago. Full year 2011 earnings were $41.1 billion, up 35% from 2010, reflecting higher crude oil and natural gas realizations, improved refining and chemical margins, and gains on asset sales.
According to ExxonMobil’s Chairman Rex W. Tillerson, “ExxonMobil recorded strong results while investing at record levels to develop new supplies of energy that are critical to meeting growing world demand, and supporting economic recovery and growth.”
Capital and exploration expenditures were a record $36.8 billion in 2011, the company said.
“Oil-equivalent production was up 1% from 2010. Excluding the impacts of entitlement volumes, OPEC quota effects and divestments, production was up 4%,” Tillerson said, adding that “in 2011, the Corporation distributed $29 billion to shareholders through dividends and share purchases to reduce shares outstanding.”
Fourth Quarter 2011 vs. Fourth Quarter 2010
Upstream earnings were $8,829 million, up $1,349 million from the fourth quarter of 2010. Higher liquids and natural gas realizations increased earnings by $1,990 million. Lower volumes and production mix effects decreased earnings by $1,450 million. All other items, primarily gains on asset sales, increased earnings by $810 million.
On an oil-equivalent basis, production decreased 9% from the fourth quarter of 2010. Excluding the impacts of entitlement volumes, OPEC quota effects and divestments, production was down 4%.
Liquids production totaled 2,250 kbd (thousands of barrels per day), down 276 kbd from the fourth quarter of 2010. Excluding the impacts of entitlement volumes, OPEC quota effects and divestments, liquids production was down 3%, mainly due to field decline.
Fourth quarter natural gas production was 13,677 mcfd (millions of cubic feet per day), down 975 mcfd from 2010, as U.S. growth was more than offset by field decline and lower demand in Europe.
Earnings from U.S. Upstream operations were $1,184 million, $133 million lower than the fourth quarter of 2010. Non-U.S. Upstream earnings were $7,645 million, up $1,482 million from last year.
Downstream earnings of $425 million were down $725 million from the fourth quarter of 2010. Weaker margins, principally in refining, decreased earnings $740 million. Volume and mix effects decreased earnings by $30 million, while all other items increased earnings by $40 million. Petroleum product sales of 6,493 kbd were 62 kbd lower than last year’s fourth quarter.
Earnings from the U.S. Downstream were $30 million, down $196 million from the fourth quarter of 2010. Non-U.S. Downstream earnings of $395 million were $529 million lower than last year.
Chemical earnings of $543 million were $524 million lower than the fourth quarter of 2010. Weaker margins decreased earnings by $230 million, while lower volumes and mix effects reduced earnings by $40 million. Other items, mainly unfavorable tax effects, decreased earnings by $250 million. Fourth quarter prime product sales of 6,271 kt (thousands of metric tons) were 78 kt lower than last year’s fourth quarter.
Corporate and financing expenses were $397 million, down $50 million from the same period in 2010.
During the fourth quarter of 2011, Exxon Mobil Corporation purchased 69 million shares of its common stock for the treasury at a gross cost of $5.4 billion. These purchases included $5 billion to reduce the number of shares outstanding, with the balance used to offset shares issued in conjunction with the company’s benefit plans and programs. Share purchases to reduce shares outstanding are currently anticipated to equal $5 billion in the first quarter of 2012. Purchases may be made in both the open market and through negotiated transactions, and may be increased, decreased or discontinued at any time without prior notice.