ExxonMobil’s earnings often get a lot of attention from politicians and the media.
Far less attention is paid to the amount of money we invest to earn those profits.
That’s a shame, because those numbers are quite instructive about the work we plan to do to help meet the world’s energy needs for the next several decades. Our investments are also revealing because they show the scope of the challenges faced by our industry to keep pace with rising global demand.
At our annual meeting with financial analysts in New York this week, ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson announced record capital spending levels of $190 billion over the next five years.
That’s an average investment of $38 billion each year on some of the most technologically challenging projects on the planet. (By comparison, our earnings over the previous five years have averaged $36 billion per year.)
Those projects range from energy exploration in the Russian arctic and producing liquefied natural gas in the remote Papua New Guinea Highlands to oil sands production in Canada and expansion of our world-class refinery and petrochemical complexes in Singapore and Texas. We advance those projects likely to provide long-term shareholder value, and focus on the efficient use of capital to achieve superior investment returns.
As a result of these efforts, we expect to increase production of crude oil and other liquids by approximately 4 percent per year through 2017. According to Rex, production startups at more than two dozen major oil and gas projects will bring about one million oil-equivalent barrels of new production to market.
Investment in future energy supplies is critical to meet demand and to keep the world’s economies moving.
The International Energy Agency estimates that an unprecedented level of investment, estimated at $1.6 trillion per year on average, will be necessary to meet energy demand through 2035.
At ExxonMobil, we’ll continue to invest both in the U.S. and abroad to do our part to ensure the world has the supplies of energy it needs.