The company undertook maintenance in Saudi Arabia; Port-Jér me, France; Baytown and Beaumont, Texas; and Alberta, Canada during the quarter.
Exxon also saw capital expenses and spending on exploration for oil and gas surged 69 percent to $6.6 billion in the quarter, driven by investments in the U.S. Permian basin, Brazil and Indonesia.
“Key projects in Guyana, the U.S. Permian Basin, Brazil, Mozambique and Papua New Guinea are positioning us well to meet the objectives we outlined in our long-term earnings growth plans. The high quality of these resources, combined with our strengths in project execution and innovation, will generate strong value over time,” Exxon CEO and Chairman Darren Woods said in a statement.
Profits in the company’s upstream business — which focuses on exploring for and developing oil — more than doubled to over $3 billion. Exxon’s total production fell by 7 percent from a year ago, due to falling natural gas output as it shifts its focus to oil in its U.S. shale assets and downtime in Qatar, Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Earnings for Exxon’s chemicals business were also down, falling to $890 million from $985 million a year ago, mostly due to weaker profit margins and higher costs.
Exxon’s earnings have been steadily improving as oil prices continue to recover from a prolonged slump. However, the company’s profits have fallen short of Wall Street’s expectations in three of the last four quarters.
Shares of the world’s largest publicly listed oil company have recently recovered. Exxon’s stock price was up nearly 1 percent this year through Thursday’s close, lagging its Big Oil peers in Europe but outperforming fellow U.S. oil major Chevron, which also reports second quarter earnings on Friday before the bell.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.