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US supermajors to face up to 'grim reality' of falling profits

ExxonMobil and Chevron both saw a sharp fall in profits in the third quarter, but they are charting markedly different courses

ExxonMobil is using its size and strong balance sheet to continue investing, with relatively small spending cuts. Chevron, by contrast, is cutting deeply to bring its spending into line with the price. Its strong portfolio of new projects sets it apart and will see it post stronger growth than its larger rival. ExxonMobil saw its profits fall to $4.24bn in the third quarter - when oil prices languished below $50 a barrel (/b) - down 47% from a year earlier. Chevron's third quarter profits were hit harder by the low prices, with earnings down 64% from a year earlier to $2bn. Both companies' US upstream businesses posted losses and were among the worst performing areas for the companies in

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