EnergyWatch

Big oil investors bracing for bad news as headwinds gather

Slumping energy prices, sluggish global demand and shrinking chemical margins are weighing on the oil industry as its biggest names prepare to announce quarterly results to investors demanding ever-higher payouts.

Photo: Reimar Juul/Ritzau Scanpix

The so-called supermajors -- Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Chevron Corp., Total SA and BP Plc -- are expected to disclose a 42 percent plunge in third-quarter earnings, on average, when they post results this week. That drop-off is too steep to blame on the 18 percent decline in crude oil prices, which means executives will have some explaining to do.

Exxon, Shell, and BP already have already taken steps to manage shareholder expectations by releasing limited data points on things like refinery repairs, asset sales and hurricane impacts on offshore oil production. Nonetheless, investors will be watching for additional color on what to expect for the remainder of 2019.

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