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ExxonMobil evaluating significant near-term capital and operating expense reductions; COVID-19

ExxonMobil is looking to reduce spending significantly as a result of market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and commodity price decreases.

Based on this unprecedented environment, we are evaluating all appropriate steps to significantly reduce capital and operating expenses in the near term. We will outline plans when they are finalized.

—Darren Woods, chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil

Woods said that ExxonMobil has faced numerous market downturns throughout its long history and has experience operating in a sustained low-price environment.

The company is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and has adjusted work arrangements to ensure a healthy work environment and support communities where it operates.

Just a few weeks ago, Woods told investors that ExxonMobil was planning capital expenditures of between $30 billion to $35 billion annually through 2025, consistent with previous guidance. For 2020, the company anticipated an investment level of up to $33 billion, depending on the progress of individual projects.

Woods the had also outlined progress on key projects that support ExxonMobil’s growth plans, including:

  • In Guyana, the estimated gross recoverable resource from the Stabroek Block increased to more than 8 billion oil-equivalent barrels, in part as a result of six additional discoveries made in 2019 and 2020. ExxonMobil and its partners started production of oil at the Liza field in December 2019, less than five years after the first discovery of hydrocarbons and years ahead of industry average. Production in Guyana is expected to reach more than 750,000 gross barrels of oil per day by 2025.

  • In the Permian Basin, production volumes increased and remain on track to exceed 1 million oil-equivalent barrels per day by 2024. A capital-efficient development approach is being applied at scale, differentiating ExxonMobil from its competition. The process, known as cube development, accesses multiple shale layers simultaneously, saving money, maximizing value of resources and reducing surface footprint. The company emphasized it is evaluating the pace of near-term development activities in response to market conditions, and can do so while preserving value. Permian well cost and performance continues to improve and future growth will be supported by integrated infrastructure capacity expansions at the company’s Gulf Coast refineries and petrochemical operations.

  • ExxonMobil holds the leading acreage position in Brazil among international oil companies and added more than 450,000 acres in 2019, for a total of 2.5 million net acres. The company has plans to increase exploration activity in 2020 and 2021, and Phase 1 of the Bacalhau field development is progressing on schedule.

  • ExxonMobil reported strong performance from its low-cost liquefied natural gas (LNG) operations in Papua New Guinea, and the company continues to work with the governments in Papua New Guinea and Mozambique to advance new projects to support long-term demand growth.

  • In the downstream, ExxonMobil remains focused on maximizing value from its base assets through increased integration, utilization and efficiency. Project improvements continue to add value, and recent investments in Beaumont, Rotterdam and Antwerp generated earnings of $300 million in 2019.

  • In the chemical business, long-term global fundamentals continue to support the company’s expansion projects throughout the US Gulf Coast and in Asia. Eight projects have been completed, four reached a final investment decision in 2019, and one additional project is being progressed. These investments are expected to deliver a 30 percent increase in sales growth relative to 2017.

The company is actively upgrading its portfolio through strategic divestments, and continues to progress its $15-billion divestment program.


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