Exxon wagers 20 billion dollars on the US

Exxon wagers 20 billion dollars on the US

Rita Lofano
The investment will start new projects and expand existing ones in the Gulf of Mexico, creating 47.000 new construction jobs in the process

Exxon Mobil is wagering on the United States with an investment of 20 billion dollars in the Gulf of Mexico. The announcement came during the first day of CeraWeek, also marking the debut in the limelight of the new CEO of the largest oil major in terms of market capitalization, Darren Woods, successor to Rex Tillerson, who has become US Secretary of State. Woods explained how the investment concerns 11 projects in Texas and Louisiana in the petrochemical refining and natural gas sectors. The investment will enable the creation of 47,000 new jobs, 35,000 of which temporary, in the construction industry, for the expansion of existing projects or starting new ones in the Gulf of Mexico. The remaining 12,000 jobs created are decreed as permanent. Many of these jobs involve qualified personnel with salaries over 100,000 dollars a year. Some projects had already been announced, including the chemical project on the outskirts of Houston, the downstream expansion in Beaumont and Baton Rouge and a joint venture with Saudi Arabia to build a new petrochemical plant in the Corpus Christi area. Exxon aims to supply high-growth countries. "These are the markets that are the motivation behind our investment," said Woods. "The supply is here, the demand is there: we intend maintaining a connection between these two points," the CEO of the oil giant added, underscoring the potential opened up by the American shale revolution. Woods explained that the investment started in 2013 and will continue on "until at least" 2022.

Woods warns: trade barriers hinder progress

Tillerson's successor also launched a message to the new administration warning against protectionist temptations. Governments can help support the energy industry "by opening up business channels and implementing smart regulations," he said. Policies "of subsidies and trade barriers hinder progress. They are more expensive and lead to weak decisions on the investment front, based more on the limitations imposed rather than on real innovation," Woods further added, indicating competition in the free market as the real innovation driver. Progress "comes from the fact that all we struggle to do better than others in finding cleaner, cheaper and smarter responses to society's needs. When we win we are rewarded by the market and we use that reward to invest in higher technology and higher growth. The only way to continue to win in a competitive industry - he concluded - is to continue to innovate."

Donald Trump, via Twitter, exults over Exxon's investment

President Donald Trump burst in on CeraWeek via Twitter, exulting over the investment of 20 billion dollars announced by Exxon Mobil at the Houston energy conference with the industry's elite "Thank you to @exxonmobil for your $20 billion investment that is creating more than 45,000 manufacturing & construction jobs in the USA," said Trump, applauding the strategy of new CEO Daren Wood, successor to Rex Tillerson, who has become US secretary of state. "Buy American & hire American are the principles at the core of my agenda, which is: JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! Thank you @exxonmobil", the president added, stating that America is "already winning again." Trump dedicated as many as four tweets (including a video attached) and a press release to Exxon’s announcement, which heralds 20 billion dollars of investment by 2022 in projects for refining, chemistry and liquefied natural gas in Texas and Louisiana, "There is an incredible spirit of optimism sweeping the country right now - we're bringing back the JOBS!", Trump tweeted, thus claiming to have favoured the investment called "Growing the Gulf", partially initiated in 2013.