Exxon Mobil profits continue to fall, as the global oil industry reels under the lowest crude prices since 2009.
The oil giant, based in suburban Dallas, reported in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Friday $4.2 billion in profits for the second quarter of 2015, down more than 50 percent from a year ago.
The results fell in line with those of other oil companies, some of which have sustained significantly greater losses as oil trades around $48 a barrel, down from more than $100 a year ago.
In its earnings report Thursday, Royal Dutch Shell announced profits of $3.8 billion in the second quarter of 2015, down from $6.1 billion the previous year, and the layoff of another 6,500 employees.
Exxon, like other so-called super majors, has been propped up by its refining and chemical operations, which tend to become more profitable when oil and natural-gas prices fall. In the second quarter, Exxon’s refining division earned $1.5 billion, almost double what it did a year ago.
“Our quarterly results reflect the disparate impacts of the current commodity price environment, but also demonstrate the strength of our sound operations, superior project execution capabilities, as well as continued discipline in capital and expense management,” Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson said in a statement.
Exxon’s drilling and exploration arm, historically its most profitable, only reported $2 billion in earnings, roughly a third what it earned a year ago. Its U.S. drilling operations actually reported a $99 million loss, compared with a profit of more than $2 billion over the same period in 2014.
With oil prices expected to remain relatively low for at least the next few years by most projections, companies worldwide are slashing budgets. Exxon, for instance, has cut its capital budget to $16 billion for the first six months of the year, a 12 percent decrease from the first half of 2014.
In trading Friday, Exxon shares dropped $3.80, or 4.6 percent, to $79.21.