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ExxonMobil may post first profit in five quarters on better results across its businesses

April 05/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil Corp, US largest private petrochemical company, could post its first profit in five quarters on the back of improved results across its businesses, with higher oil and gas prices providing a lift of as much as USD2.7 billion, offset by costs from a February deep freeze, reported Reuters.

Last year, the company posted consecutive quarterly losses as falling oil prices and refining margins triggered write downs. It slashed operating expenses last year and analysts had forecast a per share profit of 54 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Exxon could top Wall Street estimates based on its Wednesday securities filing, according to brokerage Raymond James & Associates. The data point to a quarterly profit of about USD2.55 billion, or 60 cents share, wrote analyst Justin Jenkins in a note.

Shares gained 12 cents to USD55.95 in late trading. The stock has gained more than a third this year to date.

The February freeze that cut power to Texas refineries and chemical plants, and curbed oil and gas supplies, caused up to USD800 million in damages and lost production volumes, Exxon indicated. ConocoPhillips and Devon Energy earlier warned of production losses from the cold snap.

The filing showed refining remains a troubled business despite sequentially improved operating margins. Refineries have been especially hard hit by a pandemic-related drop in fuel demand and a recent rise in feedstock prices.

Exxon�s chemicals operation, its only business to eke out a profit for 2020, could get a USD600 million boost over fourth quarter results on better margins. The business earned USD700 million in the final quarter. Results are scheduled to be released on April 30. Reported first-quarter earnings could hit USD2.34 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES, compared with a year-earlier loss of USD610 million.

As MRC wrote previously, ExxonMobil has shut its aromatics plant in Rotterdam-Botlek, Netherlands, for a six-week maintenance in March-April 2021. This turnaround is part of a larger repairs program at ExxonMobil"s interconnected 191,000-b/d Botlek refinery and Rotterdam aromatics plant beginning in the first quarter. The Rotterdam aromatics plant is one of the largest aromatics production facilities globally and produces pure aromatics such as benzene, orthoxylene, paraxylene (PX), and cyclohexane.

Benzene is a feedstock for the production of styrene monomer (SM), which, in its turn, is a feedstock for manufacturing polystyrene (PS).

According to MRC"s ScanPlast report, January 2021 estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics in Russia rose by 12% year on year, totalling 45,640 tonnes. The estimated consumption increased year on year for all PS grades.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world"s oil and about 2% of the world"s energy.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PS, benzene, crude and gaz condensate, ortoksilol, paraxylene (PX), styrene, petrochemistry, Exxon Mobil, Netherlands, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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