Image: Exxon Mobil
Toby Talbot  /  AP
Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, said Thursday that its third-quarter profit tumbled with crude prices, but like other big energy companies, production is bouncing back.
updated 10/29/2009 10:23:16 AM ET 2009-10-29T14:23:16

The world's largest publicly traded oil company said Thursday that oil production is bouncing back with crude prices.

Still, a worldwide glut in petroleum supplies may cool the latest surge in oil, squeezing refiners and keeping profits well below their peak last year.

Exxon Mobil Corp. reported that profits from July to September dropped 68 percent to $4.73 billion, or 98 cents per share.

Exxon depends on oil and gas production for more than two-thirds of its earnings. The company's petroleum production increased by 3 percent from the same period last year, though crude fetched an average of $50 less per barrel.

Net income fell in the third quarter across Exxon's various operations.

Its oil refining business posted a loss of $203 million in the United States compared with a profit of $978 million in the same three-month period of 2008. Overall, Exxon's refining, or downstream, operation took a beating with profits falling 89 percent to $325 million compared with the year-ago period.

Exploration and production, or Exxon's upstream business, saw earnings drop 63 percent to $4.01 billion in the third quarter.

Exxon shares fell $1.51, or 2 percent, to $72.33 in pre-market trading.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Exxon's earnings tumble

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