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Exxon projects growth through high-value, short-cycle projects

Exxon projects growth through high-value, short-cycle projects

Mar 02, 2017
4 min read
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Exxon Mobil Corporation, one of the world’s largest oil producers, announced on Thursday a growth outlook underpinned by leveraging competitive advantage and by investing in high-value generating, short-cycle projects.

The group is positioned to succeed in any price environment, chairman and Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods said in a statement.

“Our job is to compete and succeed in any market, regardless of conditions or price,” Woods said during a presentation at the company’s annual analyst meeting at the New York Stock Exchange. “To do this, we must produce and deliver the highest-value products at the lowest-possible cost through the most-attractive channels in all operating environments.”

ExxonMobil anticipates capital spending of $22 billion in 2017, an increase of 16 percent from 2016. Capital and exploration expenses through the end of the decade will average $25 billion annually.

More than one quarter of the planned spending this year will be made in high-value, short-cycle opportunities, including in the Permian and Bakken basins, Exxon said.

Short-cycle investments are those expected to generate positive cash flow in less than three years after initial investment.

The company has an inventory of more than 5,500 wells in the Permian and the Bakken with a rate of return greater than 10 percent at US$40 a barrel, with nearly one-third generating significantly higher returns. Total annual net production growth from these basins through 2025 could be as high as 750,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day at a compound annual growth rate of about 20 percent.

At the same time, the company will advance longer-term projects focused on growing higher-value production in locations including Canada, Guyana and the United Arab Emirates, Exxon said.

In Guyana, for example, two wells last year confirmed a world-class discovery with recoverable resources in excess of 1 billion oil-equivalent barrels. Guyana startup is expected by 2020, less than five years after the initial discovery well – a rare occurrence in the industry in terms of development time, the statement said.

ExxonMobil expects the startup of five major upstream projects in 2017 and 2018, which will contribute an additional 340,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day of working-interest production capacity. Odoptu Stage 2 in Far East Russia and the Hebron project in Eastern Canada are expected to start up by year-end. Other projects planned for startup in the period are the Upper Zakum expansion in the United Arab Emirates, Barzan in Qatar and Kaombo in Angola. Since 2012, the company has started up 27 projects, adding 1.2 million oil-equivalent barrels per day of installed capacity. The company has an upstream portfolio of nearly 100 projects that are in various stages of planning, concept selection and construction.

These investments will support upstream volumes that are projected to be in the range of 4 million to 4.4 million oil-equivalent barrels per day through 2020, Exxon said.

In the downstream, the company is investing across the value chain to continue building on the strength of its portfolio of refining and other advantaged manufacturing assets. At its Rotterdam refinery, for example, the company is reconfiguring a hydrocracker unit to manufacture higher-value products, including premium lube base stocks and ultra-low sulfur diesel, by upgrading lower-value vacuum gas oil.

The chemical segment is investing to capture advantaged feed stocks and produce high-performance products in the U.S. Gulf Coast region and at its Singapore complex in Asia.

“Our integrated investments along the Gulf Coast will capture the full value of the unconventional resource molecule, from the wellhead to market,” Woods said.

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