Close this search box.

Table of Contents



Netback is a term used in finance to indicate the amount of money remaining from a product sale after all the costs of production and marketing have been subtracted. It is often used to assess the profitability of a product or service. A higher netback value means greater gross profit, whereas a lower netback can suggest a product or service is not financially viable.


The phonetics of the keyword “Netback” would be: /ˈnɛtbæk/.

Key Takeaways


  1. Definition: Netback is a term used in the oil and gas industry to refer to the gross revenue from the sale of a resource, minus transportation, production, and royalty expenses. It is essentially a measure of the profitability of a resource extraction operation.
  2. Importance: Understanding and analyzing netback is essential for companies in the oil and gas industry. Higher netbacks indicate lower operating costs and higher profitability, which can attract investors and positively affect the company’s share price.
  3. Usage: The Netback value is used to make strategic decisions in the oil and gas industry. It can be used to compare the profitability of different resources, to decide whether or not to go ahead with a potential project, and to assess the financial viability of different operations.



Netback is an important term in business and finance as it provides a crucial measure of a company’s profitability for a product. It is the amount of money left after all the costs linked with producing and selling a product are subtracted from the revenue generated from its sales. This number can be seen as a representation of the efficiency and effectiveness of a company’s production and sales efforts. More specifically in the oil and gas industry, netback is used to determine the value of a particular resource at a certain point in time. In essence, a netback helps a company to understand its operational efficiency and financial standing which aids in strategizing future business efforts.


Netback serves a crucial purpose in the business world, particularly in the commodities sector such as oil and gas industries. Its primary function lies in providing a definitive, quantifiable measure of a product’s profitability per unit. It’s a metric that refers to the amount of money that a company makes from selling its commodity, once all the expenses associated with its extraction, production, and marketing have been deducted. Netback allows companies to identify how lucrative selling a particular product can be in various market conditions. It sets the stage for pricing decisions and strategic evaluations about where products are sold, thus central to maximizing profitability. Furthermore, this powerful accounting tool helps in revealing underlying business performance and plays a vital role in the financial analysis of a company. It aids the company to analyse its operations and make investment decisions by identifying the properties yielding higher netbacks. The netback analysis provides insight into what actions can be undertaken to maintain profitability. It is particularly useful in scenario analysis for determining how varying operating costs or changing market prices might affect profits. In tough market conditions, it can help the company focus on cost reductions and efficiency improvements to elevate netback and hence, profitability.


1. Oil and Gas Industry: In an oil and gas company like ExxonMobil, they typically use netback pricing to calculate the value of their fossil fuel products. This measurement is done by subtracting all costs associated with bringing an oil or gas product to the market from the selling price. These costs can include production, transportation, and selling costs. The netback gives an indication of the profitability and efficiency of the company.2. Mining Industry: Mining companies like BHP Billiton often use netback value to understand real income from every ounce of gold or iron produced after deducting all production costs and royalties. For instance, if the selling price of gold is $1500 per ounce and the total costs for extracting and refining are $1200 per ounce, the netback would be $300.3. Agriculture Sector: A farmer who grows corn may calculate his netback to determine his profitability. He would do this by subtracting the cost of planting, watering, fertilizing, harvesting, and transporting the corn from the market selling price. This gives the farmer a clear insight into his profits per bushel of corn produced.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Netback?

Netback is a critical financial figure in the oil and gas industry. It refers to the profit per barrel of oil or unit of gas after all the costs related to its production and delivery have been taken into account.

How is Netback calculated?

Netback is calculated by subtracting all the costs related to the production, transportation, and selling of a commodity from its selling price.

What costs are considered in the calculation of Netback?

The costs involved in the calculation of Netback can include operational costs, transportation costs, royalties, marketing expenses, production taxes, etc.

Why is Netback important?

Netback is an important measure since it helps companies understand the profitability of extracting, processing, and selling oil and gas. It can also depict the financial health of an oil or gas company.

How can Netback affect investor decisions?

Investors use Netback to compare the profitability of different oil and gas companies. A higher Netback signifies a more profitable company, hence it can attract more investors.

Can Netback prices fluctuate?

Yes, Netback prices can and do fluctuate, often in response to changes in global commodity prices. Factors such as changes in production costs, natural disasters, political instability, and global market trends can all impact Netback prices.

What is a negative Netback?

A negative Netback means that the costs of production, extraction, and transportation exceed the price for which the product is sold. This could indicate operational inefficiencies or market downturns.

Can a company survive with a low Netback?

It can be difficult for a company to survive with a low Netback, mainly if the situation persists for a long period. It might result in the company needing to cut costs, reduce production, or even initiate bankruptcy proceedings in extreme situations.

What is the link between Netback and oil pricing?

Netback is linked closely to oil pricing in that it reflects how much profit the company can make from the current market price of oil after subtracting all associated costs. Therefore, when oil prices rise, so too should Netbacks, all else being equal.

Related Finance Terms

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More