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Oil Company Profits Up, Production Down

Odd Trends for the 3rd Quarter

Written by Brianna Panzica
Posted October 28, 2011

On Friday, Chevron Corp (NYSE: CVX) reported surprisingly high earnings considering the company’s decline in output.

In fact, for the third quarter, Chevron doubled its earnings from a year ago, boosting them from $3.77 billion to $7.83 billion, beating out estimates of $3.44 a share and coming in at $3.92 a share.

And yet, as Fox Business reports, output fell 5% from a year ago.

So how did Chevron achieve this huge growth in earnings?

As Fox Business reports, it is in part attributable to the company’s sale of a European refinery, but there was also an unexpected jump in refining earnings.

And yet production output this year was 2.6 million barrels per day compared with last year’s 2.74 million barrels per day.

Problems in the Gulf of Mexico and with a pipeline in Thailand are in part responsible for the production decline.

Chevron is not alone in this, the Financial Times says.  Output was also down for ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), BP (NYSE: BP), and ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP).

But Exxon also reported big earnings this quarter.

Rolling Stone reports that their profits were up a total of 41% from last year’s numbers.

On Thursday, the company reported earnings of $10 billion for this quarter.

Chevron did announce that it expects a production growth of 1% between 2010 and 2014 and of 4% or 5% between 2014 and 2017, reported Fox Business.  The company does not believe the production decline is a permanent trend.

It seems more like a slump for these big oil companies.

Exxon was down .4% on Friday afternoon to $81.51.

Chevron rose .3% to $109.33 on the positive profit reports released.

That’s all for now,

Brianna

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