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article imageExxon announces $20 billion plan for Gulf Coast projects

By Karen Graham     Mar 8, 2017 in Business
On Monday afternoon, Exxon Mobil Corp. announced its plans to spend $20 billion over a period of 10 years on refineries and chemical and liquefied natural gas plants along the gulf Coast.
Almost immediately after the Exxon announcement, Donald Trump tweeted his praise using essentially the same press release, nearly word-for-word that the oil company had used. But it was a good-old-boys minute of back-slapping.
Exxon's Chairman and Chief Executive, Darren Woods, says its investment will create 12,000 permanent jobs. The company currently has 71,000 employees and 35,000 construction jobs. The $20 billion is almost equivalent to Exxon's total capital spending in 2016. However, Exxon also said it plans to increase its investments by an average of $25 billion a year from 2018 to 2020.
The Los Angeles Times is saying that it may be difficult to determine how things will play out with Woods at the helm of the company. Most think that he will follow in Rex Tillerson's footsteps, but only time will tell as he grows into the role.
“He is an Exxon Mobil lifer who flew under the radar, but he seems to be following in the footsteps of Rex Tillerson,” said Kathy Mulvey, an official at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “His line on climate change seems pretty similar.”
In the press release, Woods was quoted as saying that the big investments "require a pro-growth approach and a stable regulatory environment and we appreciate the President's commitment to both." And we are sure Exxon is appreciative of the rollback of EPA regulations by Scott Pruitt, too.
Exxon is putting almost all its eggs in one basket based on the increase in natural gas production going on today. Woods cited the boom in production created by techniques such as fracking, or hydraulic fracturing in shale formations like the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico.
Further Reading: Biggest ever oil accumulation found in west Texas desert
Exxon recently bought the rights to an additional 250,000 acres doubling its presence in the Permian, at a cost of a cool $6.6 billion. Now, that's a huge bet on their part. Woods is banking on hydraulic fracturing, saying it has "opened up a whole new energy future for the United States ... (that) is turning the U.S. from an energy importer to energy exporter."
Shares of Exxon Mobil rose 37 cents to close at $82.83 on Monday. On Wednesday, Exxon's shares dropped $1.49 to close at $81.03.
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