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ISIN: US30231G1022 | WKN: 852549 | Symbol: XOM
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Walgreens, Exxon Mobil: Two Excellent Dividend Aristocrats 5 comments
by: Avi Morris March 18, 2010 | about: WAG / XOM / XTO

In troubling times like these, companies with long track records of dividend increases (S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats) should be of greater interest for investors. Two of the largest are Walgreens (WAG) and Exxon Mobil Group (XOM).

Walgreens, 109 years old, owns the largest drugstore chain in the US with more than 7600 drugstores selling $63 billion. WAG will add another 300 stores from Duane Reade, the largest metro NYC chain with 250 stores and $1.8 billion in sales, in 6 months. Walgreens is America’s most convenient provider of consumer goods and services, pharmacy, health and wellness services which allowed them to fill over 18% of prescriptions in the US. WAG has paid dividends quarterly since 1933 and this is the 35th consecutive year WAG has increased its annual dividend.

The $2.3 billion of debt is rated single A and backed by $14.3 billion of equity. Their long term goal is for double digit EPS growth and top-tier shareholder returns with a long term dividend payout target of 30-35%. Analysts estimate EPS of $2.30 this year (ending June 30) and $2.70 next year which should allow them to raise the dividend to roughly 70¢ (versus 55¢ presently) within a couple of years. The stock has had an excellent record of growth. However, in the last decade it has flattened out, range-bound between roughly 30 & 50. Today it's 34. The bland record in good times is mitigated after holding up fairly well during the recent market decline.

Exxon Mobil is the largest petroleum company in the world. It descends from the Standard Oil founded by John D Rockefeller. In 1911, the Supreme Court ordered Standard Oil to be broken up into 34 companies. XOM combines the two largest, Standard Oil of New Jersey and Standard Oil of New York (SOCONY Mobil). It has paid annual dividends since the days of Rockefeller but just become a Dividend Aristocrat two years ago.

Discussing their financial strength is not even worth the effort. XOM is large enough to bail out a small country in trouble. Last year their profits plunged to (only) $19+ billion after record results in 2008. That compares with earnings of less than $15 billion by Dow stocks Microsoft (MSFT) and Wal-Mart (WMT). In 2009 Exxon Mobil purchased 277 million shares at a cost of almost $20 billion, reducing its shares by 5%.

Exxon Mobil is diversifying after announcing in Q4 2009 that it will acquire XTO Energy (XTO) for $41 billion to enhance its position in the development of unconventional resources. Exxon Mobil and XTO will be combined to supply new affordable and reliable energy resources to the global market.

Their stock has an outstanding growth record over the years but has fallen from the $90s in 2007 to $67. It pulled back after the price of oil plunged from $147 and then the stock has been fairly flat during the market decline and rebound of 2008-9. EPS is expected to bounce back from $4 last year to nearly $6 and around $7 next year. The P/E ratio is modest and earnings can easily support a dividend of $1.68 along with increases for many years.

While these companies have bland stock records in recent years, they also performed well when the market sold off. They have low P/Es and low dividend payout ratios, good for long term investors. I think of these as risk averse ("limited" may be a better word) kind of stocks. Other Dividend Aristocrats with similar risk characteristics are also worthy of consideration.
Natural Gas Set to Gain as Exxon Bets $28.5 Billion (Update1)
March 29, 2010, 10:01 AM EDT
More From Businessweek

By Reg Curren

March 29 (Bloomberg) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. is making a $28.5 billion bet on natural gas, this year’s worst-performing energy commodity, just as hedge funds amass their biggest wager on prices falling.

If history is a guide, the acquisition of XTO Energy Inc. may make Irving, Texas-based Exxon the winner. Its purchase of Mobil Corp., announced in December 1998, came three weeks before crude bottomed at $10.35 a barrel and then surged to $25 a year later. While speculators have helped drive gas down 31 percent this year, everyone from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to ConocoPhillips says prices are headed higher.

The combination of faster economic growth, demand for cleaner-burning fuels and higher coal prices may spur demand from factories, power plants and chemical makers, which account for 60 percent of gas consumption. Goldman Sachs, which cut its forecast this month, projects a price of $6 per million British thermal units in 12 months, up more than 50 percent from $3.90 on the New York Mercantile Exchange today.

Demand will rebound with the economy, ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Officer Jim Mulva told investors and analysts March 24 at a conference in New York. “We see natural gas prices in the short term somewhere in the neighborhood of around $5, but ultimately longer term, we see it more in $6 to $8,” he said.

This year, the only Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index commodity that has fallen more is sugar, down 37 percent. Speculators had sold a net 186,983 futures contracts worth about $7 billion in the week ended March 16, based on Commodity Futures Trading Commission data and April futures prices. Inventories rose 11 billion cubic feet to 1.626 trillion in the week ended March 19, 8 percent more than the five-year average, according to the Energy Department.

Growing Economy

The industry is setting up for a recovery, with the U.S. economy forecast to grow 3 percent this year and next, according to 53 responses to a Bloomberg survey.

Since Exxon Mobil agreed to buy Fort Worth, Texas-based XTO on Dec. 14, Total SA in Paris, Tokyo’s Mitsui & Co. trading company and U.S. coal miner Consol Energy Inc. in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, have purchased stakes in U.S. fields that contain shale gas.

Output from shale wells, in fields where rock formations are fractured and injected with water, sand and chemicals to release trapped gas, drove production gains last year. Advances in drilling technology are cutting production costs. Shale purchases over the past two years exceed $48.4 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Shale Deposits

XTO gets more than 20 percent of its production from the Barnett shale deposit in Texas, the largest in the U.S. It’s also planning to boost drilling in the Marcellus Shale, a formation in parts of Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia.

“It’s not a price play, obviously, because we never do that,” Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson said in a conference call with investors and analysts on Dec. 14, when the purchase was announced. “It’s an efficiency play. And as you know, we believe you get a lot of efficiency benefits out of scale.”

Houston-based ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, plans to accelerate development of the Eagle Ford shale formation in Texas, Mulva said.

Gas prices in North America will probably stay in “the range of $4 to $8” per million Btu, Marvin Odum, president of U.S. operations for The Hague-based Royal Dutch Shell Plc, said at a conference in New Orleans on March 24.

For now, gas is disappointing investors. Futures prices peaked at $15.78 per million Btu in December 2005 and rose as high as $13.694 in July 2008, before the recession caused prices to collapse to a seven-year low of $2.409 in September 2009.

Competing With Coal

The price slide may have made the fuel competitive with coal for U.S. electricity generators for the first time since September, according to Cameron Horwitz, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey in Houston.

Coal costs for electricity producers, after factoring in variables including the variety of coal, power-plant efficiency and storage, may exceed $4.20 per million Btu, based on data compiled by Bloomberg.

U.S. gas demand may rise as much as 12 percent over the next 10 years as President Barack Obama turns his attention to climate change, Chris Goncalves, director of Washington-based Navigant Consulting Inc., said in London on March 22.

Gas is the least-polluting fossil fuel, producing about half the carbon dioxide of coal when burned, according to the Energy Department.

U.S. gas production reached 26.3 trillion cubic feet in 2009, up 2.2 percent from the previous year, while industrial demand slumped 7.7 percent in the recession, Energy Department data show. Stockpiles hit a record 3.837 trillion cubic feet at the end of November.

Supply Gains

“The ability to get more natural gas supply on line is going to mitigate upward price pressure even as the economy recovers,” said Jason Schenker, president of Prestige Economics LLC, an Austin, Texas-based energy consultant who expects gas futures to average about $4.85 per million Btu in 2010. “It’s possible we could move lower from current price levels over the next couple of months.”

Liquefied natural gas may also damp gains as imports rise 45 percent in 2010 to about 1.8 billion cubic feet per day, according to Energy Department estimates.

The number of gas drilling rigs working in the U.S. may be about to level off, said Chad Friess, an analyst with UBS Securities in Calgary. There were 941 rigs working in the U.S. last week, an increase of 42 percent from a seven-year low in July, according to Baker Hughes Inc.

“The U.S. rig count may be approaching a plateau, given resilient gas production and receding prices,” he said in a March 4 report.

Price Shock

Speculators and consumers of the fuel may be setting themselves up for a price shock by underestimating the strength of the U.S. economy and ignoring the 2.21 trillion cubic feet of gas sucked from storage this past winter, when demand peaked, said Tom Orr, the research director at Weeden & Co., a brokerage in Greenwich, Connecticut.

“A lot of economically sensitive companies are moving up now, like DuPont and Dow,” Orr said. “I wouldn’t short gas here because you’re going to work through some of the oversupply as the economy continues to recover.”

On Jan. 26, DuPont Co., the third-biggest U.S. chemical maker, reported profit that topped analyst estimates on increased orders for automotive plastics and electronics materials. Dow Chemical Co. shares have more than tripled in the past year.

“When Exxon bought Mobil in the ‘90s you saw a spate of big boys getting bigger,” said Scott Hanold, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets in Minneapolis. The XTO purchase signals a $6.50 long-term average price for natural gas, Hanold said.

“You’re probably near the bottom,” he said. “Prices are depressed because of the near-term glut of gas. While it’s pretty bearish now, you will see it improve.”

--With assistance from Mario Parker and Joe Carroll in Chicago, Edward Klump in Houston, Jim Polson, Moming Zhou and Jack Kaskey in New York and Ben Farey in London. Editors: Bill Banker, Dan Stets
Antwort auf Beitrag Nr.: 39.237.972 von R-BgO am 29.03.10 16:40:56ich bin langfristig investiert.Exxon übersteht auch die Orkane.
...und der Dollar stärkt sich vielleicht weiter--
Dividende wird auch steigen und inflationangemessen sowieso
Is Exxon Mobil the Berkshire Hathaway of the Oil Patch?
by: Pitbull Trading April 12, 2010 | about: UNG / USO / XOM / XTO

I believe that ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM) shares currently trade at a fair value, and going forward they are well positioned to maintain positive growth and steady profits. Exxon is not an exciting stock, nor is it really a growth stock, or a high-dividend paying stock; essentially nothing about Exxon makes investors get excited and want to pile money into the company. But Exxon does have redeeming features: the management have been a good steward of capital throughout the years, they return value to their investors with dividends and share buybacks consistently, they have raised their dividend steadily over the years, they are committed to maintaining a conservative attitude on strategic acquisitions and capital expenditures, and they are not a volatile stock.

I would almost go so far as to say that Exxon is the Berkshire Hathaway of the oil patch. They are not flashy, and don't chase the quick buck; rather they stay committed to a time-proven strategy that focuses on a good return on investment and creating highly predictable cashflows for a long period of time.

This is not to say that Exxon is perfect for everyone. I think young investors with a long investment horizon could probably do better with something besides an integrated major, and even look into some of the E&P guys or some strictly non-conventional resource plays. For many of the older folks out there, I think XOM is a great value at its current price. It offers a safe yield that will steadily increase over time, and a price that really does not fluctuate significantly with the broader market's gyrations. This is perfect for an investor looking for a stock with low volatility, but that has the ability to match inflation and still kick back cash to the shareholders. Exxon is not completely dull however, they have many smaller side-businesses that are focusing on developing technologies and future possibilities. Chemicals, bio-fuels, and new techniques for extracting non-conventional oil and gas assets, etc.

Below are some notes I found interesting from their most recent conference call:

As you are aware, on December 14, 2009, ExxonMobil and XTO Energy (XTO) announced an agreement bringing together two organizations with highly complementary skills and capabilities. XTO has assembled a substantial high quality, unconventional natural gas and oil resource base in the U.S. They also have extensive technical capabilities and operating experience in unconventional resources.

These qualities, combined with ExxonMobil''s global unconventional gas portfolio, world class research and technology capabilities, industry-leading project management and operational skills and financial capacity will create a premier global unconventional resource organization.

Turning to our unconventional gas opportunities, during 2009, ExxonMobil increased its position in the Marcellus shale gas play through the formation of a 50/50 joint venture with Pennsylvania General Energy. The joint venture holds approximately 290,000 gross acres in the play and we are encouraged by the drilling results and production rates achieved so far. Including this capture, our total global unconventional gas acreage now stands at over 5.5 million net acres.

During the quarter, the second phase of the Al Khaleej Gas projects started up in Qatar. AKG Phase II has the capacity to supply 1.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day to meet Qatar''s growing domestic demand. Combined with Phase I, which has been operating since 2005, AKG Phase II has increased the project's total gas supply capacity to 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.

Including AKG Phase II, Qatargas 2, Trains 4 and 5 and RasGas Train 6 in Qatar, the South Hook LNG receiving terminal in the U.K., the Adriatic LNG terminal in Italy, Piceance Phase I in the U.S. and Tyrihans in Norway, ExxonMobil completed eight major product start-ups in 2009. These projects are forecast to provide a combined net production of nearly 400,000 oil equivalent barrels per day in 2010.

The final Qatar LNG train, RasGas Train 7, is completing commissioning. Gas is now flowing into the facility and we anticipate first LNG in the coming weeks. This will be the fourth 7.8 million tons per year train brought online by our joint ventures with Qatar Petroleum. Including this train, we will participate in approximately 62 million tons per year of LNG capacity in Qatar.

In December, ExxonMobil and our co-venture partners agreed to proceed with the Papua New Guinea LNG project. The project is an integrated development that includes gas production and processing facilities, onshore and offshore pipelines and liquefaction facilities with the capacity to produce 6.6 million tons of LNG per year.

Another feature that is attractive about Exxon is their commitment to not overpaying for assets. When do they go out and make huge natural gas purchases? When natural gas is at multi-year lows of course. Prudent management of company assets and capital is key to long-term value creation, something Warren Buffett knows quite well. Take a look at his comments on the Kraft (KFT) and Cadbury tie up as an example. I for one do not accuse Exxon of overpaying for XTO. On the contrary, it is a calculated move to snatch up huge long-lived assets in an energy hungry world at very fair prices. I have no doubt that Exxon will leverage the synergies of both companies' technological expertise and resources to pay back their purchase with interest.

Overall, Exxon represents a good value for investors looking for a safe place to park their money. Exxon has proven throughout the years that they are very conservative with the allocation of shareholder money, and will err on the side of caution when it comes to deploying that capital. This may prevent them from being first to the newest and greatest thing, but with their size and cash position (10+ bln), they can afford to wait and act when necessary. In addition, a consistently increasing dividend along with vast underlying oil and natural gas assets offer a nice hedge against possible future inflation.
ByGlenn Williams, RealMoney Contributor , On Wednesday June 2, 2010, 2:15 pm EDT

There's a lot of smart money in the Marcellus Shale belt in search of natural gas. Some big names with heavy coffers are involved: Shell, Total, Exxon Mobil, National Fuel Gas, Atlas Energy, and so many others. Recently, there was a suggestion that these companies are betting that natural gas will be used, "somewhere, anywhere," but not in the U.S., which will become a net exporter of the fuel.

I agree this is a lot of smart money. I also agree these companies believe a lot of natural gas will be consumed. But, there is no chance the U.S. will become a net exporter of natural gas anytime soon. I believe the smart money is betting that all the Marcellus Shale natural gas will be used domestically.

The U.S. has been a net importer of natural gas for the past 30 years, according to the Energy Information Administration. Over the past two (recession) years, we have been a net importer at an average rate of 235 billion cubic feet per month. Earlier this year, as the domestic natural-gas process touched historic lows, the EIA reported that the U.S. continued to import natural gas from Canada, Mexico, Egypt, Nigeria, Qatar, Trinidad, and Yemen.

If multinational investments are an indicator of market trends, then there is consensus that growing volumes of natural gas will be consumed in the U.S. According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, dozens of companies are each betting billions of dollars that there will never be enough natural gas production in the U.S. They back up their bets with costly plans to build, own, and operate up to 40 liquid-natural-gas import facilities.

It is more than plans. Ten LNG off-loading, regasification, and storage facilities, many new or expanded, are already operating on the East Coast. These represent tens of billions in capital expenditures and huge bets by individual players. Like the Marcellus play, there is a lot of smart money on net imports. These facilities are owned, or partially owned, by companies such as Sempra Energy, Dominion Resources, El Paso, GDF Suez SA, Southern Union, Cheniere Energy, Dow Chemical, RWE AG and Repsol YPF .

These LNG facilities are large, modern, and efficient. Many, have 3 to 16.8 Bcf storage tanks, send-out capacities of 0.5 to 4.0 Bcf/day, and are connected to a major pipeline hub that provides access to large parts of the U.S. natural-gas markets. Some of the newer offshore terminals, like Northeast Gateway and the Gulf Gateway Deepwater Port are 10 to 120 miles off the coast and have a send-out capacity of 0.5 to 0.6 Bcf/day.

Joining the existing fleet is Exxon, which is building additional LNG import facilities, including 2.0 Bcf/day capacity in Sabine, Texas, and planning a 1.2 Bcf/d floating facility 20 miles off the New Jersey coast. El Paso is adding 0.9 Bcf/day on Elba Island, Georgia, and building a 1.5 Bcf/day in Mississippi.

That's a lot of multinationals using independent analysis to make similar multibillion-dollar bets. Not one of them decided to build an export facility. There isn't a single export facility anywhere in the lower 48 states, and there are no applications before the FERC to build one. There isn't a single penny to back up the notion that the U.S. will become a net exporter of natural gas.

If this massive investment in LNG isn't enough to kill the argument, consider why they are making this bet and what it would take for the U.S. to export Marcellus Shale gas. First, neither the Canadians nor the Mexicans are interested in U.S. natural gas -- they have plenty of their own and are shipping their surplus to the U.S. The Asian market is out of reach for Marcellus and is better served by Alaska, Mexico, Peru, and Russia. Only Ireland, the U.K., and Europe offer practical markets for U.S. shale gas, but only if the price is right.

And the price is not right; Marcellus Shale natural gas isn't competitive internationally. Methane from most oil-producing regions is a byproduct. In the Middle East, wet gas is often flared off. In these areas, the LNG production costs approach zero. It is hard to compete against zero.

Worse, unlike the Middle East variety, Marcellus Shale natural gas isn't a byproduct. It is expensive to extract, and approximately 30% of its value is lost when liquefied, transported, and regasified. There is no economic argument that positions Marcellus Shale natural gas favorably against LNG from oil-producing regions, since cost-leading Middle East oil producers can undercut U.S. prices anytime they want.

The massive investments in the Marcellus Shale and LNG-receiving terminals suggest the multinationals are betting on the Pickens Plan; they believe the U.S. is migrating to a natural-gas economy. It may not be overnight, but the U.S. will need all the natural gas it can get and it will be forced to pay top dollar.

The only people who don't seem to appreciate the trend are the Americans, some of whom argue that the Obama administration "hates natural gas." These critics believe the U.S. isn't pushing hard enough to accelerate consumption. The evidence suggests otherwise; all of a sudden, it is virtually impossible to build new coal-power plants. The only practical choice for utilities to build base-loaded power plants is to use natural-gas as fuel. Nevertheless, the "hate natural gas" drum beat continues.

What the Obama administration should be concerned about is over-dependence on a single fuel and on natural gas. If the U.S. relies too much on natural gas and the Marcellus field fails -- and it can easily fail -- then the U.S. will find itself facing a new OPEC situation with the same unfriendly faces. Only this time, it will be natural gas.

Don't believe it? Last year at the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, 14 natural-gas-rich nations, including Russia, Iran, and Qatar, Algeria, Indonesia, Libya, and Venezuela, attempted to form a new cartel called "gas OPEC." It isn't a threat to the U.S. now, but it could be later; particularly if we are as hapless with Marcellus as we have been with oil in the Gulf.
Exxon Eyes China Gas
By: Zacks Equity Research
June 07, 2010 | Comments: 0

ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM - Analyst Report) is in advanced talks with Chinese national oil firms for several upstream partnerships. The resources in question include unconventional properties both inside and outside of China.

Exxon said that the company is encouraged by China's recent gas price increase and is moving towards a more market-based pricing. Effective from June 1, China announced a 25% hike in benchmark onshore gas prices. China believes natural gas is the most efficient way to reduce its carbon footprint, and it is planning to increase its share of natural gas in its energy needs pie to 10% by 2020 from the current 3%.

While oil, natural gas and coal will continue to meet most of the world's needs, Exxon emphasizes on natural gas as a major source of energy in its program, reflecting its abundance, versatility and economic advantages as an efficient and clean-burning fuel. Exxon anticipates a 55% increase in global natural gas demand by 2030, driven primarily by the power-generation sector.

Despite the challenging business environment, Exxon's businesses have been delivering strong performances. It remains focused on its business plan, a robust exploration program, record capital investment and a persistent focus on operational excellence.

Though Exxon has been providing assistance in response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), it is concerned about the uncertainties and costs associated with the future deepwater GoM drilling scenario. However, we believe that Exxon’s business will be least hampered as the company has very little exposure in the GoM.
Habe heute mal aufgestockt; aktuell 3% Div.Rendite:

19.07.2010 17:59
ExxonMobil Announces Multi-Year Supply Agreement With Caterpillar

* ExxonMobil is the exclusive supplier for 33 Caterpillar® lubricants
* Long-term cooperative research enables development of advanced lubricant technologies
* Lubricants offer highest performance while lowering operating costs for Caterpillar customers

As part of a multi-year agreement, ExxonMobil will manufacture and supply Caterpillar® branded lubricants to Caterpillar factories and dealers worldwide. With this agreement, ExxonMobil continues as the exclusive worldwide supplier for 33 Caterpillar® lubricants used in engines, transmissions, hydraulics and final drives.

Since 1987, when ExxonMobil began supplying private label lubricants to Caterpillar, the two companies have worked together on world-class product research. That research has resulted in the creation of lubricant technologies that work as a system with the machine and engine to provide the highest performance, while lowering the operating costs for Caterpillar customers. In addition, they provide sustainability-related benefits through extended oil drain intervals and protection of engine emission reduction systems.

"Through ongoing cooperative research, our teams have designed and produced lubricants that meet Caterpillar's high performance standards," said Jim Hennessy, vice president of sales for ExxonMobil Lubricants&Specialties. "It's a rigorous process: before these lubricants are manufactured, the products and performance specifications are tested and approved by Caterpillar. As part of our global relationship, a dedicated ExxonMobil support team provides technical and marketing training to Cat dealers and facilities worldwide."

ExxonMobil and Caterpillar are already developing the next generation of lubricants and exploring technologies that will further help reduce emissions as well as extend component life.
Vanguard (Lagos)
Nigeria: New Oil Finds Getting More Challenging, Says Exxonmobil Boss

Clara Nwachukwu

19 July 2010

Equating supply to meet rising energy demand particularly in the industrialised nations and Asia is becoming increasingly challenging, Rex Tillerson, the Chairman and Chief Executive, ExxonMobil Corporation has said.

Mr Tillerson, who spoke in the corporation's 2009 Corporate Citizenship Report, recently made available to journalists, noted that the implications for the rising demand will be significant for all stakeholders.

In the case of Nigeria, where the Federal Government is seeking greater take from oil and gas resources, which constitute the bulk of its revenue earnings amid strong resistance from multinational operators, part of the challenge for ExxonMobil will also include reducing flaring through continued investment in infrastructure.

Mr Mark Ward, the Lead Country Manager, ExxonMobil Affiliates, Nigeria (Esso Exploration and Production Company Limited; Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited; and Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc), in his remarks affirmed ExxonMobil's commitment to Nigeria for the long haul.

He said that despite the global economic downturn, compounded by Nigeria's peculiar security and policy-related issues, which contributed in changing the scope and structure of the oil and gas business in Nigeria, ExxonMobil was able to overcome these challenges and even made "tremendous progress in many areas" particularly with regard to production levels.

For instance, in 2009, ExxonMobil's net production averaged at 391,000 barrels per day, while the corporation has already produced about 950,000 barrels in the first half of 2010, due to a combination of factors including production restrictions by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Furthermore, ExxonMobil notes that government's support, through the long term renewal of its oil leases under joint venture operations with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), will sustain its oil and gas investments in the country.

Operational issues

ExxonMobil chief executive, Mr. Tillerson, who spoke on, rising to the Sustainability Challenge, said, "Meeting the challenge of sustainability requires that we effectively address complex environmental, economic, and social issues of our time, while delivering on our primary responsibility - finding and providing the reliable supplies of energy needed by future generations for progress and development."

He highlighted some of the operational issues further compounded by global economic downturn to include:

* How operators can develop the vast potential of unconventional resources or operate in areas like the arctic without compromising safety or the environment - the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico by BP is a case at hand.

* What are the legitimate roles and boundaries between government, the private sector and civil society, particularly in developing countries such as Nigeria undergoing targeted economic reforms.

* Addressing the risks of climate change, while also ensuring that policy proposals focused on finding lasting solutions and not short term expedience or political acceptability.

Future finds:

While seeing "many opportunities for economic growth, improved living standards, and exciting new energy technologies," for its Outlook for Energy, the ExxonMobil Report equally foresees "tremendous challenges, and how to meet the world's growing energy needs to support and expand prosperity while reducing the impacts of energy use on the environment."

The report said, "Fundamentally, our energy future is about people and how they use energy to foster economic development and human progress." it added that meeting future demand, say by 2030, will push up global energy demand by almost 35 percent from the 2005 base line.

"This expansion will result in increased demand for energy in all major end-use sectors - transportation, power generation, industrial and residential/commercial," the report added.

Accordingly, ExxonMobil, the world's biggest oil company by asset base noted that meeting the demand will not be easy, as this will require "an integrated set of solutions that include improving efficiency, expanding supplies of all economical energy sources, including renewables; and mitigating emissions through a variety of approaches, "which it said will require trillions of dollars in long term investments and constant technological innovation.

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