ExxonMobil targets aggressive growth programme to more than double earnings

ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) has unveiled plans to more than double its earnings to US$31 billion by 2025 at today’s oil prices.

In its annual analyst meeting, the US-based oil giant outlined an aggressive growth programme underscored by major investments in new projects and upgrades to existing facilities.

Exxon plans to raise production from the US Permian Basin five-fold and also identified offshore Guyana is a key growth driver within the upstream business. Growth from new and existing projects should push production up by 1 million oil equivalent barrels per day (bpd) to 5 million bpd.

Meanwhile, in the downstream the company will upgrade several of its refineries across the world including plants in Texas, Louisiana, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Singapore and Fawley in the UK.

To achieve this ambitious growth strategy, Exxon will increase spending on capital projects to $24 billion this year, then to $28 billion next year and at an average of $30 billion from 2023 to 2025.

The company reported an adjusted profit of $15 billion in 2017.

“Our existing business and plans for growth are robust to a wide range of price environments, allowing us to maintain a growing dividend and a strong balance sheet while returning excess cash to our shareholders,” said chairman and CEO Darren W. Woods.

However, the plans received a damp response from the investor market, with Exxon shares falling to their lowest price in two years after a share buyback announcement failed to materialise at the event.