Houston — On Friday, ExxonMobil and Chevron reported lower profits due largely to weakness in their refining operations and lower crude oil and natural gas prices. Both US oil majors reported increased production, but cited lower refining and chemicals margins, and Exxon posted the first loss in its refining business since 2009. Exxon’s 49% fall in first-quarter profit missed forecasts, showing the turnaround at the largest US oil producer remains a work in progress. “It was a tough market environment for us this quarter,” Exxon senior vice-president Jack Williams said on a call with analysts. Wall Street is focused on Chevron and smaller rival Occidental Petroleum’s battle to take over Anadarko Petroleum. Occidental made a $38bn offer this week that topped Chevron’s $33bn bid. Chevron CEO Michael Wirth signaled on Friday that Chevron considers itself on track to make a deal for Anadarko. He said the companies have started transition planning, with teams meeting this week on how to ...

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