Chevron, Total declare huge profits

29 October 2011, Sweetcrude, Houston – Net profit more than doubled at energy giant Chevron in the third quarter on the back of spiralling prices for crude oil and refined products.

Higher oil prices and improved operational performance from refining operations also helped French oil giant, Total, to an increased profit in the quarter.

Net profit at Total for the three months to the end of September was EUR 3.35 billion ($4.74 billion) as against EUR 2.88 billion in the comparable period a year ago. It is also well up on the EUR 2.81 billion in the second quarter this year.

For Chevron, results for the three months to the end of September announced Friday put net profit at $7.86 billion as against $3.77 billion in the comparable period a year ago.

At the top line, revenues swelled from $49.72 billion to $64.43 billion as the average sales price for a barrel of oil shot from $69 to $97, Chevron wrote in the results. The average price of gas also rose from $4.14 per thousand cubic feet to $4.06 per Mcf.

With sales well ahead, total costs also ballooned from $42.85 billion to $51.09 billion.

Although Chevron reported a ramp-up of production at projects in Canada, the US and Brazil, this was more than outweighed by chops in production elsewhere caused by maintenance-related downtime, natural field declines and costly extraction at some plays.

The result was to sent worlwide net production down from 2.74 million barrels of oil equivalent per day to 2.6 Mmboepd.

Chief executive John Watson commented: “We had another successful quarter with both strong earnings and cash flow. Current quarter earnings for our upstream operations benefited from higher crude oil prices on world markets.

“At the same time, gains on asset sales and improved margins for refined petroleum products contributed to increased earnings for our downstream businesses.”

Shares in Chevron made an early gain of over 2% in New York on Friday following the results announcement.
Sales at Total jumped from EUR 40.18 billion to EUR 46.16 billion as the average price of crude oil shot up 47% year-on-year to $113.4 per barrel.

The large jump meant Total could take an increased tax bill which rose from EUR 2.43 billion to EUR 3.49 billion while purchases were up around EUR 5 billion.

Total’s adjusted net income from its upstream operations showed a 9% improvement from EUR 2.12 billion to EUR 2.32 billion.

The downstream segment recorded a 47% surge to EUR 388 million but chemicals were down 7% at EUR 239 million due to softer petrochemicals demand.

Total hydrocarbons production fell 0.9% to 2.32 million barrels of oil equivalent per day with some of the fall attributed to a prolonged cut in production in Libya following the onset of the Arab Spring in mid February.

Liquids production sank 11% to 1.18 million boepd while gas production was ramped up 13% to 6.23 million cubic feet per day.

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