Exxon Mobil Pivots Toward US Unconventional Liquids

In a quest to become more profitable Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) is shifting away from natural gas and more toward liquids in unconventional U.S. plays, executives said as the company’s overall second-quarter production fell 7% compared to a year ago.

Second-quarter net income of $3.95 billion was up from $3.35 billion in the year-ago quarter. Downstream earnings—down 47%—weighed heavily on earnings due to “heavy turnaround and maintenance activities” at refineries. The results were below analysts’ expectations.

The Irving, Texas-headquartered company said it produced 3.6 million barrels per day of oil equivalent during second-quarter 2018. Liquids production fell 3%, while natural gas production fell 13%.

“Lower entitlement resulting from higher prices reduced volumes as did continued efforts to high-grade our portfolio with the largest impact versus last year coming from divestment of our operated assets in Norway,” Neil Hansel, vice president of investor relations, said during a conference call July 27. “Increased downtime primarily for scheduled maintenance also reduced volumes in the quarter with the most significant impact coming from Canada.”