By Sabrina Valle

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil said on Wednesday big increases in oil, gas and fuel prices would deliver a third-quarter operating profit between $8.3 billion and $11.4 billion, below the year ago’s record earnings but up from its second quarter.

Exxon’s snapshot of operating profits, delivered in a securities filing after the market close, signals a good quarter for oil companies on high oil prices and strong demand for gasoline and diesel.

The largest U.S. oil producer posted total profit in the same quarter a year ago of $19.7 billion and $7.9 billion in its second quarter this year. Analysts currently forecast a $9.22 billion, or $2.37 per share profit, for the latest quarter, according to financial firm LSEG.

Exxon’s oil and gas production earnings were boosted by an about 30% increase in average crude oil prices during the period. The Brent global benchmark ended the quarter near $97 per barrel, up from $72 per barrel at the end of June, JPMorgan said in a note.

The strong operating profits still fall shy of the same period a year ago, which saw ultra-high natural gas prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and record refining throughput on fuel demand.

The securities filing put oil and gas operating profits at between $5.2 billion and $6.7 billion, compared to last year’s $12.4 billion in its third-quarter oil and gas business.

Refining also slipped to less than half the year ago’s $5.8 billion operating profit.

Exxon shares fell nearly 4% on Wednesday to $111.50 as oil prices tumbled on a global bond sell-off and rising interest rates. The company’s shares hit a record high of $120 last week.

Full results are due to be released on Oct. 27.

(Reporting by Tanay Dhumal in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Lisa Shumaker)