Exxon, Chevron see profits drop

Exxon, Chevron see profits drop
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The United States’ two largest oil companies saw their quarterly profits plunge amid expectations that low oil prices will not recover soon.

Exxon Mobil Corp. said Friday morning that its profit in the third quarter of the year was $4.24 billion, a 47 percent drop from the same quarter last year.

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The company has taken a major hit from crude oil prices, which have fallen by more than half from last year’s high above $100 a barrel.

Nonetheless, Exxon’s profit was slightly higher than analysts had expected on average.

“We maintain a relentless focus on business fundamentals, including cost management, regardless of commodity prices,” Exxon chief Rex Tillerson said in a statement.

“Quarterly results reflect the continued strength of our downstream and chemical businesses and underscore the benefits of our integrated business model.”

Chevron Corp. took an even bigger hit. Its profit was $2.04 billion in profit, a 64 percent drop compared with last year’s quarter.

The company has taken dramatic measures to cut costs, but oil prices are proving to be too much to handle.

Chevron said it is cutting its capital budget for 2016 by 25 percent in an effort to better adjust to the new prices.

It will also make big cost cuts in 2017 and 2018, expecting that oil prices will not fully recover until at least 2018.

“We are focused on improving results by changing outcomes within our control,” Chevron head John Watson said in a statement.