US oil giant ExxonMobil today reported a drop in quarterly earnings due to lower oil and gas production and much weaker results in refining, especially outside the US.  

ExxonMobil, the biggest US oil company, said fourth-quarter earnings came in at $8.4 billion on revenues of $110.9 billion, down 16% from the previous year's $10 billion on revenues of $114.7 billion.

The company said its results were hit by a 1.8% decline in oil and gas production, again underscoring the oil giant's difficulty in maintaining or boosting output amid declines in older fields.

Refining earnings fell sharply, with profits outside the US tumbling to $319m from $1.1 billion.

"ExxonMobil delivered strong business results in 2013 while remaining focused on improving profitability and long-term shareholder value," said chief executive Rex Tillerson. 

"Over the next two years, ExxonMobil will start up numerous major projects delivering profitable new supplies of oil and natural gas while strengthening our refining and chemicals businesses," he added.

For the year, ExxonMobil reported net income of $32.6 billion on revenues of $438.3 billion, down 27.4% from 2012 profits of $44.9 billion on revenues of $480.7 billion.