By Bradley Olson WSJ Fri., Feb. 1, 2019 HOUSTON—The world’s largest Western oil companies shrugged off a plunge in oil prices in the final months of 2018 and posted some of their biggest annual profits in years. The strong fourth-quarter earnings Friday by Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., following similar results by Royal Dutch Shell PLC Thursday, demonstrated that the big oil companies are seeing benefits from a more disciplined strategy focused on returns and profitability over growing production. The companies have restructured their businesses, sold off assets and positioned themselves to thrive even when crude prices swing up and down wildly. Global crude prices fell 38% at the end of the fourth quarter, but Exxon still generated $6 billion in net income in the period—lower than the year before, which was boosted by the U.S. tax overhaul, but still better than analysts had expected. Chevron said net income was $3.7 billion, up 19% from … [Read more...] about Big Oil Companies Finished 2018 Strong Despite Plunge in Oil Prices
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0 Have your say Oil major Royal Dutch Shell has posted its biggest profit haul for four years after earnings jumped 36 per cent on the back of firmer oil and gas prices. Earnings for 2018 came in at $21.4 billion (£16.3bn). Its fourth-quarter profits rose 32 per cent to $5.7bn despite a recent cooling in the cost of crude, with higher gas prices helping to buoy the result.On a reported basis, annual earnings attributable to shareholders nearly doubled, up 97 per cent to $23.8bn.Chief executive Ben van Beurden said: “Shell delivered a very strong financial performance in 2018. We delivered on our promises for the year, including the completion of the $30bn divestment programme and starting up key growth projects while maintaining discipline on capital investment.”As well as stronger oil prices throughout much of the year, the group – still a key North Sea player – also benefited from cost-cutting.David Barclay, head of office at Brewin … [Read more...] about Oil price stability puts spark into Shell’s earnings
Jan 31, 6:54 AM EST Newsletter Signup BusinessTechnologyWorldNationalMedia & CultureOpinionSportsLuxury Opinion By Matthew DiLallo 12/16/18 AT 11:26 PM Oil prices have plummeted 30% since early October. The global oil benchmark, Brent, which topped $86 a barrel at the start of the fourth quarter, tumbled back down to $58 a barrel in just 37 days. Fears that there wouldn't be enough oil to meet growing demand evaporated overnight after the U.S. allowed Iran to continue exporting oil to several of its key buyers even after imposing new sanctions, and oil traders started worrying that there would be too much crude sloshing around the global market.This article originally appeared in the Motley FoolThe bear-market mauling of oil prices, however, could be over. At least, that's the view of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its latest oil market report, in which it noted that actions from several major oil-producing nations could have put a floor under oil prices in the … [Read more...] about Oil Prices: Is the Bear-Market Mauling Finally Over?
Oil prices key risk to economic growthPhilippine growth will likely pick up this year, an economist said on Tuesday, but the country should watch out for oil price movements that could exacerbate the current account deficit. In a briefing, Standard Chartered Bank economist Chidu Narayanan said that domestic consumption and rapid infrastructure investment growth were expected to drive 2019 gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 6.4 percent, up from last year’s 6.2 percent. The forecast, however, falls below the official 7.0-8.0 percent target. Last year’s expansion, which also fell short of the government’s downwardly revised 6.5-6.9 percent goal, has been blamed on factors such as higher world oil prices and above-target inflation. On the upside, significant infrastructure investments are expected to propel growth while the key downside risk is that of oil price movements.Standard Chartered expects oil prices to average $78 per barrel this year. “If oil prices … [Read more...] about Oil prices key risk to economic growth
By Russell Gold WSJ Mon., Jan. 21, 2019 The number of electric vehicles is growing. Consumer discomfort with plastic bottles is rising. Diplomats are pushing global action to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. The price of renewable energy continues to fall. While none of these trends bode well for the oil industry, they aren’t even the major forces expected to weigh on oil in 2019. This year, the factors that will most likely drive the price of oil are the Trump administration’s showdown with Iran and the strength of the global economy. In other words, prices will depend on geopolitics and the balance of supply and demand. Welcome to the new oil market, same as the old market. Oil analysts are keeping an especially close eye on U.S. sanctions on Iran, which over the summer was exporting about 2.3 million barrels of oil a day. The sanctions, which began in November, have knocked about 1.3 million barrels a day of Iranian exports from the market. But the … [Read more...] about Why Oil Prices May Hinge on U.S.-Iran Showdown