All Posts from May, 2012

Hurricane season officially starts June 1, but recent tropical storms along the Atlantic Coast are reminders that hurricane preparations don’t start or end on a particular date. That’s a fact those of us in the oil and natural gas industry are well aware of, which is why ExxonMobil maintains extensive hurricane preparedness plans throughout the year.

5.29.12 - Idle_Leases_Myth - FEATURED

Not-so-idle leases

Posted: May 29, 2012 by Ken Cohen

The Interior Department recently published a report suggesting that the oil and gas industry is sitting on leases and limiting production of U.S. oil and natural gas resources. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the administration issued essentially the same report about a year ago. The numbers released this year are a little different, but unfortunately it’s hard to escape the same conclusion that many drew from last year’s report – that is, it exists to offer a rationale as to why more U.S. lands should not be opened up to responsible energy development.


“…an economic opportunity of a lifetime.” That’s how Mario Hernandez, president of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, describes the advances in technology that have led to a boom in oil and natural gas production in his city and the counties in south central Texas that sit atop the Eagle Ford Shale play. Hernandez’s comments are found in a new study, “Economic Impact of the Eagle Ford Shale,” produced by the Center for Community and Business Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio. If you read this study, you’ll see Hernandez is not exaggerating; the economic benefits of Eagle Ford Shale development – in terms of jobs, economic activity and revenue to state and local governments – are significant.

As you may have read, Vermont’s political leaders have decided to ban hydraulic fracturing. This action is a product of media hype, poor science, and politics – given that Vermont has little or no proven natural gas reserves, and therefore little incentive to apply hydraulic fracturing technologies there. Interestingly, the state’s decision to ban hydraulic fracturing directly contradicts the very principles Vermont lawmakers had articulated just last year.


A Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittee hearing today featured executives from several companies who have made investments in their operations to reduce energy use and emissions. It’s no surprise that such investments not only help protect the environment, but also help a company’s bottom line. At a company like ExxonMobil, with large and complex operations around the world, the benefits of such investments are significant – saving energy, emissions and costs. So I thought I’d share a few examples of our successful projects around the globe.

For former astronaut Dr. Sally Ride, it was her high school science teacher, Dr. Mommaerts. In an op-ed featured this week on Mashable.com, Ride celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week by talking about Dr. Mommaerts’ efforts to not only teach her about science, but to give her the confidence to believe she could do anything – including becoming the first American woman to travel in space. It’s that all-important combination of competence and confidence that teachers must possess in order to pass it along to their students. And as Dr. Ride mentions in her op-ed, those are the skills we want to help teachers further develop at the Sally Ride Science Academy, a key element in ExxonMobil’s commitment to math and science education in the U.S.