EnergyFactor By ExxonMobil | Pespectives has a new home

Our $150 billion contribution to the global economy

ExxonMobil announced third quarter financial results earlier today. Our quarterly earnings of $8.1 billion bring the year-to-date total to $26 billion.

Those are important numbers, certainly. But they are likely to be the only ones you’ll hear from either media commentators or critics. That’s too bad, because there’s a lot more to our financial performance that people should know.

Here’s a snapshot that offers a fuller view of how ExxonMobil performed and what we invest and pay into the global economy and government coffers. This does not include the benefits our products provide to society – in terms of improved performance, efficiencies, technological gains, and improved standards of health and living.


A couple things nearly jump off the page, chiefly that the expense we incur for duties and taxes around the world dwarfs the amount we book as earnings.

Every single week, fifty-two weeks a year, we pay $1.7 billion into state, federal, and local government treasuries around the world – payments that come in the form of income taxes, sales taxes, and other duties. Globally our corporation faces an effective income tax rate of 43 percent.

We also have spent $28 billion on capital and exploration expenditures to find and produce future supplies of energy.

Again, that’s more than we have booked as profit.

Capital investment

Included in that investment figure is more than $9 billion spent this year in the United States. Robust capital spending like that is why the Progressive Policy Institute lauds ExxonMobil as an Investment Hero year after year for sustained investments in the American economy.

Add these numbers to the $38 billion we spent on various production and manufacturing expenses. And we must not forget the $18 billion returned to investors (more than 85 percent of whom live in the United States) in the form of dividends and buybacks – money that helps pension funds and the retired across the country.

All this adds up to an overall contribution of $150 billion to the global economy. This is something to keep in mind when critics point to our profits while refusing to provide a full and comprehensive picture of energy’s foundational role in improving life and driving progress at every level of society.

Providing the products society needs

One thing this chart doesn’t include is the $183 billion we have spent this year on crude oil and product purchases. Most people think of us as a large producer of oil – and we are – but as the largest refiner on the planet we are also one of the world’s largest oil purchasers as well.

In fact, we purchase two-and-a-half barrels of oil on the open market for every two that we produce, all so that we can provide the gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other products that our customers need.

8 cents for every dollar of revenue

Finally, I’ll note that our $26 billion in earnings came on $326 billion of revenue. In other words, ExxonMobil has earned about 8 cents for every dollar of global revenue so far in 2014.

We’re a big company, with a lot of moving parts. And a lot of numbers that explain who we are and what we do. If you want a better understanding of how we operate, take the time to read our earnings release. There’s a lot in there, but you’ll come away with a more complete understanding of ExxonMobil – and the many ways we contribute to a growing and changing world.

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