Fourth quarter signs-off positive year for oil majors

Higher oil prices make Q4 2017 results better reading.

Top of the oil majors in Q4 2017 was Shell which has reported CCS earnings of $4.3bn for the fourth quarter 2017, a 140% increase on Q4 2016, and $15.8bn for the full year 2017 - a 119% increase year-on-year.

BP also showed strong delivery and growth with a dramatic underlying profit increase of 139%. Bob Dudley, Group Chief Executive stated: "2017 was one of the strongest years in BP's recent history."  Underlying replacement cost profit was $6.2bn for the full year 2017 and $2.1bn for the fourth quarter, compared with $2.6bn and $400m for the same periods in 2016.

Total reported adjusted net income for Q4 of 2017 of $2.9bn, up 19% on the fourth quarter of 2016. Total Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné said that higher oil prices have contributed to a 28% year-on-year increase.

Chevron celebrated a turnaround in its fortunes with full-year 2017 earnings of $9.2bn, compared with a $497m loss in the previous year.  Sales and other operating revenues in Q4 2017 were $36bn, $6bn than 2016. Also attributing the figures to improved commodity prices, Chairman and CEO Michael Wirth added: “We achieved our objective of being cash flow positive through deliberate actions to reduce capital expenditures, lower our cost structure, start and ramp-up projects, and conclude planned asset sales."

Without US tax reforms, ExxonMobil's Q4 earnings were two percent lower for the period at $3.7bn. However, the reforms boosted these to $8.4bn, and produced overall earnings for 2017 at $19.7bn compared with $7.8bn in the previous year. According to Darren W. Woods, ExxonMobil's Chairman and CEO: "The impact of tax reform on our earnings reflects the magnitude of our historic investment in the U.S. and strengthens our commitment to further grow our business here”.

Following the trend, ConocoPhillips reported fourth-Quarter 2017 earnings of $1.6bn compared against a net loss of $35m in Q4 2016. Full-year earnings remained slightly in the red, with a net loss of $0.9bn, compared a net loss of $3.6bn in 2016. “2017 was a very successful year by all measures,” commented Ryan Lance, chairman and CEO.

Phillips 66 announced fourth-quarter 2017 earnings of $3.2bn, compared with $823m in the previous Quarter of 2017. The company generated $1.9bn in cash from operations.

Finally, Fuchs revealed a preliminary 9.1% sales revenue increase in 2017 to a record €2.5bn ($3bn up from €2.26 ($2.7bn) in 2016. Earnings after tax were up 3.5% on the year, at €269m ($328.5m largely as a result of the US tax reform.