Companies & Finance

Majors see improved results, but volatility lies ahead

IOCs are continuing to keep a tight rein on spending despite better earnings, which could make prices more volatile IOCs are continuing to keep a tight rein on spending despite better earnings, which could make prices more volatile.
By Peter Stewart 1 November 2017 0 28198
Tanker at Gorgon LNG A tanker at Chevron's Gorgon LNG plant in Australia. (Chevron)

With oil prices back at $60 per barrel – their highest level since July 2015 – the Q3 results of IOCs have beaten expectations, and their Q4 results look likely to be even better. 

North Sea Brent futures prices averaged $52.17/bbl in Q3 2017, 11% higher than in Q3 2016, while United States benchmark WTI futures averaged $48.20/bbl, 7.25% higher than a year earlier. Average prices in Q4 to date have been $5.65/bbl and $3.55/bbl higher for the Brent and WTI respectively.

The largest IOCs saw improved...