Profit at 43 U.S. oil producers totaled $28 billion in 2018, a five-year high – despite crude oil prices lower last year than in 2013 on an annual average basis — the Energy Information Administration reports.
Lower production costs per barrel of oil-equivalent (Boe) and increased production levels contributed to a higher return on equity for these companies for the fourth quarter of 2018 than in any quarter from 2013 through 2018, Kallanish Energy learns.
EIA calculates these companies accounted for roughly 33% of total U.S. crude oil and natural gas liquids production in the fourth quarter of 2018. EIA said it selected these 43 oil producers because their results are publicly available.
Most of these companies operate in Lower 48 U.S. onshore basins, with some in the Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, and some in several other regions worldwide.
Because of mergers and acquisitions in 2018, the number of U.S. producers EIA examined in this analysis fell from 46 companies in 2017, to 43 last year.
"The aggregated income statements for these 43 companies reveal a trend of relatively low increases in expenses directly related to upstream production in 2018," EIA said. "Although these upstream production expenses per barrel typically correlate with crude oil prices, the magnitude of these increases in 2018 was small compared with the increase in prices."