Weaker price and margin environment hits oil majors.
In a first quarter that saw the majority reporting a slight downturn, BP announced replacement cost profits of $2.1bn in Q1 2019, compared with $2.4bn for the same period last year. However, overall Q1 profits showed a $0.4bn improvement on 2018.
Group Chief Executive, Bob Dudley was upbeat about the figures from the start of the year, commenting: "BP’s performance this quarter demonstrates the strength of our strategy. With solid upstream and downstream delivery and strongtrading results, we produced resilient earnings and cash flow through a volatile period that began with weak market conditions and included significant turnarounds. Moving through the year, we will keep our focus on disciplined growth, with efficient projectexecution and safe and reliable operations."
Shell has reported income attributable to shareholders of $6bn in Q1 2019, up from $5.6bn in Q4 2018. CEO Ben van Beurden said, “Shell has made a strong start to 2019, with the first quarter financial performance demonstrating the strength of our strategy and the quality of our portfolio of assets. The power of our brand, serving millions of customers every day, continues to be a differentiator. Our integrated value chain enabled our Downstream business to deliver robust results despite challenging market conditions."
Total's Q1 saw adjusted net income of $2.8bn down 4% from its $2.9bn 2018 numbers. Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné cited the volatility of the market for the latest figures.
ExxonMobil saw an earnings drop of nearly a half (49%) from first quarter 2018 $4.6bn to $2.4bn for the same period this year. A 61% earnings fall was also announced against Q4 2018's figure of $6bn.
Capital and exploration expenditures increased to $6.9bn (42% year-on-year) reflecting key investments in the U.S. Permian Basin. Chairman and CEO Darren W. Woods described the downstream and chemical margin environments as "challenging".
Bucking the downwards trend, ConocoPhillips has reported first-quarter 2019 earnings of $1.8bn, almost $1bn ahead of the same time last year. Excluding special items, first-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings were $1.1bn compared with $1.1bn in 2018.
The company's Chairman and CEO Ryan Lance puts its healthier report down to its "value proposition, priorities and portfolio [which] are designed for the volatile environment that we believe has become the norm."
Phillips 66's chairman and CEO Greg Garland stated that a weak market environment is the reason for his company's drop in earnings. Q1 2019 showed earnings of just $204m, compared with $2.2bn in the fourth quarter of 2018. Adjusted earnings were $187m, compared with a Q4 2018 adjusted figure of $2.3bn.
Chevron has reported a $1bn drop in Q1 earnings at $2.6bn against the same period in 2018. Foreign currency effects decreased earnings in the first part of the year by $137m. Sales and other operating revenues were also lower at $34bn against $36bn in Q1 2018.