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Exxon Mobil and Chevron report lower profits

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Exxon Mobil and Chevron, the largest U.S. energy companies, said on Friday their first-quarter profits fell from a year earlier as refining profits fell and natural gas prices plummeted.

But even in times of moderate oil prices, the oil and gas business remains highly profitable for the two giants.

Exxon Mobil said it earned $8.2 billion in the quarter, compared with $11.4 billion a year earlier. Chevron reported sales fell to $5.5 billion from $6.6 billion a year ago.

Both companies attributed the decline to lower profits from refining crude oil into products such as gasoline and diesel. Their revenue has also been affected by falling prices for natural gas, a main fuel used for heating and industry. Natural gas prices soared after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, but fell sharply as the market corrected.

Biraj Borkhataria, an analyst at investment bank RBC Capital Markets, said Chevron’s adjusted earnings per share of $2.93 were slightly above expectations, while Exxon Mobil’s earnings per share of $2.06 were below expectations.

The two companies compete over Guyana’s oil resources. ExxonMobil has led the Latin American country’s development in recent years into becoming the most important new oil producer.

But Chevron is trying to enter Guyana with proposed $53 billion Acquisition of Hessis a mid-sized company headquartered in New York with significant interests in Guyana’s oil fields.

Exxon Mobil Hesitant when competitors enter Hess is exploring the possibility of using its legal rights to acquire a stake in major oil fields off the country’s coast. It has initiated arbitration over the matter.

Analysts said uncertainty over whether the merger might be in jeopardy weighed on Chevron’s stock price. Mr Borjataria called the situation in Guyana the “elephant in the room” for Chevron.

ExxonMobil highlighted its contribution to Guyana in its quarterly earnings report. Darren W. Woods, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, said production there “continues to be above expected levels, contributing to historic economic growth for the people of Guyana.”

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