Chevron Corp said on Friday its quarterly profit doubled as record oil and gas production helped overcome a series of one-time items. Photo: File

INTERNATIONAL – US oil and natural gas producer Chevron said on Friday that its quarterly profit doubled as record oil and gas production helped overcome a series of one-time items.

With the price of crude in the third quarter up 44 percent from the same period a year ago, major oil companies’ earnings have returned to levels not seen in as much as four years.

Chevron topped analysts’ estimates with third-quarter net income of $4.05 billion (R58bn), or $2.11 a share, compared with $1.95bn, or $1.03 a share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

“Our strong financial results reflect higher production and crude oil prices coupled with a continued focus on efficiency and productivity,” said chief executive Michael Wirth in a statement.

Analysts were looking for the company to report $2.06 a share profit, according to I/B/E/S data on Refinitiv.

Shares rose 2 percent in premarket trading to $113.53. The stock declined 9 percent in October and was off 11 percent year to date through Thursday’s close.

Chevron’s production rose to 2.96 million barrels of oil equivalent per day from 2.72 million barrels of oil equivalent per day a year ago.

Quarterly results included $930 million in one-time expenses for an asset impairment, a write-off and contract settlement offset by a $350m gain from the sale of its South African refining and marketing operations, the company said.

Profit in the company’s downstream business, which refines crude oil into gasoline and other products, fell 24 percent reflecting lower margins and year-earlier gains on asset sales.

Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell posted strong third-quarter profits on Friday, citing strong prices for oil and natural gas.