US oil major ExxonMobil has reported earnings of $8.87bn in Q4 2021, compared to a loss of $20.1bn a year ago, benefiting from a rebound in oil and natural gas prices.
Total revenues for the quarter, that ended 31 December 2021, surged to $84.9bn, from $46.5bn in the same period of 2020. The revenue for the full year 2021 was $285.6bn, against $181.5bn in the year prior.
For the full year of 2021, the company posted $23bn, against a loss of $22.4bn in the year before.
The firm also generated $17.12bn as net cash from operating activities, compared with $4bn in the fourth quarter of 2020.
For the last quarter of 2021, the firm reported $5.8bn as capital and exploration expenditures.
It reduced debt by $9bn in the fourth quarter and took the full year debt reduction to $20bn, thereby increasing its balance sheet to pre-pandemic levels.
Commencing in Q1 2022, the oil company initiated a $10bn share buyback programme related to the previously announced repurchase plan, scheduled to take place over the next 12 to 24 months.
The ExxonMobil board of directors approved the corporate plan for 2022. It expects its capital spending to range from $21bn to $24bn.
ExxonMobil chairman and CEO Darren Woods said: “Our effective pandemic response, focused investments during the down-cycle, and structural cost savings positioned us to realize the full benefits of the market recovery in 2021.
“Our new streamlined business structure is another example of the actions we are taking to further strengthen our competitive advantages and grow shareholder value.
“We’ve made great progress in 2021 and our forward plans position us to lead in cash flow and earnings growth, operating performance, and the energy transition.”
In the fourth quarter of 2021, Exxon’s oil-equivalent production stood at 3.8 million barrels per day, a 2% increase from the corresponding quarter last year. This was attributed to demand recovery.
ExxonMobil also said it would achieve its 2025 emission-reduction plans four years ahead of schedule.
Under the 2025 emission-reduction plans, the firm aims to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of upstream operations by 15-20%, and methane intensity by 40-50%, against the 2016 levels. It also pledged to reduce flaring intensity across the corporation by 35-45%.
It also set a target to achieve net-zero emissions in the Permian basin by 2030.
The financial report comes a day after the US energy company announced that it would be restructuring its business into three divisions, and moving its headquarters from Irving, Texas.