January 29, 2018

Exxon Mobil announces $35 billion in new US investments over 5 years, citing tax reform

Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, on Monday said it plans to invest an additional $35 billion in the United States over the next five years.

Darren Woods, chairman and CEO of Exxon, said in a blog post that the investment is partly due to recently passed corporate tax cuts. The announcement puts Exxon on the board with a number of other companies that have announced employee bonuses and investments following President Donald Trump and GOP lawmakers' tax overhaul.

"These investments are underpinned by the unique strengths of our company and enhanced by the historic tax reform recently signed into law," Woods said in the blog post.

"These positive developments will mean more jobs and economic expansion across the United States in a myriad of industries."

In the post, Woods said Exxon would invest $50 billion over five years, but a spokesperson later clarified that the company had already announced $15 billion of that spending.

As part of the investment, Exxon plans to increase production in the Permian basin, a shale oil region in western Texas and eastern New Mexico where the low cost of production has attracted drillers. Exxon said it will expand its operations, make improvements to infrastructure and construct manufacturing sites, activities that it expects will generate thousands of new jobs.

Exxon doubled its holdings in the Permian last year through the acquisition of companies owned by the Bass family. The $5.6 billion acquisition ranked as the second largest deal in the U.S. oil and gas exploration and production space, according to Houston-based advisory firm PLS.

Woods said the investment announced Monday comes on top of billions it had earmarked last year to projects on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Exxon in March said it would spend $20 billion to construct chemical, refining, lubricant and liquefied natural gas facilities along the coast. The company said at the time it aimed to create 12,000 permanent jobs on the back of the investment.

Woods said on Monday the company could expand its facilities on the Gulf Coast, pending an evaluation of the impact of lower tax rates on several projects currently in the planning stage.

"These are quality investments for our shareholders that are made even better by tax reform," Woods said.

"These are all possible because of the resource base developed by our industry along with sound tax and regulatory policies that create a pro-growth business climate here in the U.S."

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