When Exxon Mobil’s new CEO spoke to Wall Street this week, high on his list of growth opportunities were the nontraditional oil fields in the United States, where the diversified energy giant can make a profit even when crude prices are just $40 per barrel.
For the multinational Exxon, which invested globally in more expensive, deepwater and other long-term projects, the focus on its home base highlights how much U.S. oil majors see American production as a brighter part of the future.
A big chunk of Exxon’s upstream spending will go to shale this year. “More than one third of the capex [capital and exploration spending] will be invested in advancing our large inventory of … short-cycle opportunities. They are primarily Permian and Bakken unconventional plays and short-cycle conventional work programs. This component of our investment plan is expected to generate positive cash flow less than three years after initial investment,” CEO Darren Woods told analysts.
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