The Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM), the world's largest publicly traded energy company, reported a 7.4 percent drop in third-quarter earnings on falling natural gas prices and declining global oil demand, both of which offset stronger refining profit margins.

Natural gas prices have fallen as U.S. production from a surge in shale has ballooned, said Exxon, the largest U.S. producer of natural gas.
 
Third-quarter profit slipped to $9.57 billion, or $2.09 a share, from $10.33 billion, or $2.13 a share, a year earlier.
 
Revenue fell 7.7 percent to $115.71 billion.  Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected, on average, earnings per share of $1.95 on revenue of $112.4 billion.
 
Shares fell in premarket trading 67 cents to $90.50.