U.S. supermajor ExxonMobil booked a quarterly profit due to benefits of higher commodity prices and structural cost reductions.

ExxonMobil posted estimated earnings of $2.7 billion in the first quarter of 2021 compared with a loss of $610 million in the same quarter last year.

The company stated that the positive results reflect the benefits of higher commodity prices and ExxonMobil’s focus on structural cost reductions while prioritizing investments in assets with a low cost of supply.

Results included unfavourable identified items of $31 million. First-quarter capital and exploration expenditures were $3.1 billion, $4 billion lower than the first quarter of 2020.

ExxonMobil also pointed out that cash flow from operating activities was $9.3 billion while debt reduction amounted to $4 billion.

During the quarter, the company advanced several initiatives to reduce emissions and launched its Low Carbon Solutions business to commercialize an extensive low-carbon technology portfolio one of which is a vision for a massive $100 billion carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in Houston.

Oil-equivalent production was 3.8 million barrels per day, up 3 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2020.

Excluding entitlement effects, government mandates and divestments, oil-equivalent production was up 2 per cent.

Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil, said: “Cash flow from operating activities during the quarter fully covered the dividend and capital investments, and we strengthened the balance sheet by reducing debt.

“We also made progress on our energy transition strategy by launching our new ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions business, which is initially working to develop innovative, large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) concepts, including the evaluation and advancement of more than 20 new opportunities, such as a multi-industry hub to reduce emissions from hard-to-decarbonize industries near the Houston Ship Channel.

“As the global leader in carbon capture, we are seeing growing public and private sector support for CCS as a critical enabling technology to reduce emissions and help meet society’s net-zero ambitions”.

During the quarter, ExxonMobil announced the elections of Michael Angelakis, Jeffrey Ubben, and Wan Zulkiflee to its board of directors. With the addition of the new members, the ExxonMobil board increased to 13 directors, 12 of whom are independent.

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