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Markets & Finance

Financial Review: First-Quarter 2018

Release date: July 12, 2018
Next release date: September 2018

Key findings

  • Brent crude oil prices were 23% higher in first-quarter 2018 than in first-quarter 2017 and averaged more than $60 per barrel for the second consecutive quarter, contributing to higher cash flow for companies producing oil and natural gas
  • Liquids production increased 1% in first-quarter 2018 from first-quarter 2017, with natural gas production increasing 3% during the same period
  • Energy companies’ free cash flow—the difference between cash from operations and capital expenditure—was $95 billion for the four quarters ending March 31, 2018, the largest four-quarter sum during 2013–18
  • Companies reduced debt for six consecutive quarters, contributing to the lowest long-term debt-to-equity ratio since first-quarter 2015

The energy companies’ return on equity increased to 7% in first-quarter 2018, the largest level since fourth-quarter 2014

See entire annual review