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Global oil and petchem companies announce financial results for Q4

by Manolya Tufan -
  • 07/02/2019 (09:24)
Several oil and petrochemical producers have started to announce their financial results for the fourth quarter of 2018. Oil giants appear to have reported stronger profits in the final quarter despite the sharp slump in oil prices on the heels of their downstream operations.

Oil producers delivered healthy performance, aided by downstream segments


Among the producers operating in oil, refining, chemicals and petrochemicals industry, the British oil giant BP ended the fourth quarter of 2018 with a yearly increase of 65% in its underlying replacement cost profit, used as a proxy for net profit, at $3.5 billion.The company doubled earnings in 2018 with a stronger-than-anticipated full-year profit at $12.7 billion thanks to a strong operating performance across all business segments.


Excluding tax impacts, ExxonMobil earned $6.41 billion for the quarter, marking a 72% increase from the same period a year ago.Profits in Exxon’s downstream business refining and selling fuels nearly tripled to $2.73 billion, also excluding U.S. tax impacts.


Chevron Corporation reported earnings of $3.7 billion for the fourth quarter of 2018, up nearly 20% on the year.

The company’s international downstream operations, meanwhile, earned $603 million in the fourth quarter, seven times larger than the $84 million earning reported a year earlier. The substantial increase in earnings was largely due to higher margins on refined product sales as well as the favorable impact of foreign currency.


The Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell’s fourth quarter earnings jumped by 30% to $5.62 billion from $4.30 billion recorded in the same period of last year. The company’s full-year earnings, meanwhile, were reported to be better-than-expected with a 36% upsurge at $21.4 billion in 2018, marking the highest level in four years.

The Anglo-Dutch company said its results were underpinned by higher oil and gas prices, year-on-year, as well as a stronger contribution from liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading.


Enterprise Products Partners reported a net income of $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, up 68% on year. Like the other oil and refinery operators, gross operating margin for the Petrochemical & Refined Products Services segment increased 48%to $255 million for the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the same quarter of 2017.

Weak demand took its toll on chemicals and petrochemicals industry

The US-based DowDuPont’s operating EBITDA was $3.9 billion, flat with the year-ago period. Sales were reportedly hit by currency effects. China is the main source of the weakness amid falling demand for materials used in autos and smartphones.


LyondellBasell’s net income and EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2018 was respectively at $0.7 billion and $1.2 billion, down from the previous year. Q4 results were affected by a plunge in crude oil markets.

Meanwhile, the company’s olefins and polyolefins business covering Europe, Asia and international markets saw $150 million drop in operating income compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. This was due to decreased automotive demand, low water levels on the Rhine River, extended maintenance at its Wesseling, Germany cracker and feedstock supply constraints at Münchsmünster, Germany cracker during the fourth quarter.
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