IRVING, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ExxonMobil is managing unprecedented market challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic while preserving long-term shareholder value, chairman and chief executive officer Darren Woods told shareholders today during the company’s annual meeting.
“Despite the current volatility and near-term uncertainty, the long-term fundamentals that drive our business remain strong and unchanged,” Woods said during the meeting, which was held virtually to reduce health risks from the pandemic. “Our objective is to strengthen the structure and earnings power of our business through industry-advantaged projects to provide a solid foundation for generating cash, reliably growing the dividend and maintaining a strong balance sheet.”
In response to market conditions, ExxonMobil announced in April that it would be reducing its 2020 capital spending by 30 percent, to approximately $23 billion, and lowering its cash operating expenses by 15 percent. Woods said the company has identified opportunities to reduce capital expenditures without compromising project advantages or returns.
“We’ve adjusted our business plans in response to market conditions, and are working hard to ensure we maintain the value of our portfolio of industry-leading opportunities,” he said. “While these are uncertain times, some things remain unchanged – including the fundamentals that underpin our business, our long-term plan, and commitment to grow value for shareholders.”
Woods thanked the company’s workforce for quickly adapting and adjusting manufacturing operations to deliver much-needed raw materials to assist medical professionals and first responders fighting COVID-19 on the front lines.
“There is no question that times like these demonstrate the vital role our company and our industry play in modern life,” said Woods. “It has been inspiring to see the actions of our people who are stepping up to help fight this virus and its effects, all while continuing critical operations.”
ExxonMobil has increased production of specialty polypropylene – used to make medical gowns and masks – and isopropyl alcohol, the key ingredient in medical-grade hand sanitizer and other disinfectants.
Operations at its Baton Rouge, LA, site were reconfigured to produce, blend, package, and distribute medical-grade hand sanitizer for donation to health care providers and first responders across the United States. And it supported development of third-party production of safety equipment that can be sterilized and worn multiple times to help alleviate shortages.
Woods provided an overview of ExxonMobil’s performance in 2019, when the company delivered earnings of more than $14 billion, achieved first oil production in Guyana, increased Permian production volumes nearly 80 percent, and began a multi-year exploration program offshore Brazil. In the Downstream, ExxonMobil brought three major refining projects online in Antwerp, Rotterdam and Beaumont. Its chemical operations broke ground on four major projects across Baytown, Baton Rouge and Corpus Christi.
He also outlined ExxonMobil’s continued efforts to address society’s dual challenge of providing affordable energy necessary for economic growth while reducing emissions. The company is investing in new technologies that could provide more affordable, lower-carbon energy and has focused on three sectors – commercial transportation, power generation and industrial processes – which together account for about 80 percent of global CO2 emissions.
In commercial transportation, ExxonMobil is working to develop advanced biofuels from algae and cellulosic biomass. Efforts to reduce emissions in power generation and industrial involve reducing the cost of carbon capture and storage and capturing CO2 directly from ambient air.
Since 2000, ExxonMobil has invested nearly $10 billion in projects to research, develop and deploy lower-emission energy solutions. The company also continues to expand collaborative efforts with more than 80 universities, five energy centers and multiple private sector partners around the world to explore next-generation energy technologies.
During the meeting, shareholders re-elected all of the directors serving on ExxonMobil’s board, supported the company’s executive compensation program, ratified PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as independent auditors and supported board recommendations on six shareholder-led proposals. The proxy voting results will be made available on the company’s website.
ExxonMobil, one of the largest publicly traded international energy companies, uses technology and innovation to help meet the world’s growing energy needs. ExxonMobil holds an industry-leading inventory of resources, is one of the largest refiners and marketers of petroleum products, and its chemical company is one of the largest in the world. To learn more, visit exxonmobil.com and the Energy Factor.
Outlooks, projections, goals, discussions of potential, descriptions of business plans, objectives and resource potential, market expectations and other statements of future events or conditions in this release are forward-looking statements. Actual future results, including financial and operating performance; capital and operating expense reductions; project plans, timing, and outcomes; future business results including cash flows, dividends, and shareholder returns; accounting effects resulting from market developments and ExxonMobil’s responsive actions; and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and government responses on ExxonMobil’s business, and results, could differ significantly depending on a number of factors including supply and demand for oil, gas, and petroleum products and other market factors affecting oil, gas, and petroleum product prices; the outcome of government policies and actions, including actions taken to address COVID-19 and to maintain the functioning of national and global economies and markets; the severity, length, frequency of outbreaks, and ultimate impact of COVID-19 on people and economies; the impact of company actions to protect the health and safety of employees, vendors, customers, and communities; actions of competitors and commercial counterparties; the ability to access short- and long-term debt markets on a timely and affordable basis; the actions of consumers; the timely completion of development projects; other legal and political factors including obtaining necessary permits and changes in tax or environmental laws; unexpected operating events or technical difficulties; the outcome of commercial negotiations including negotiations with governments, private partners, and vendors; and other factors discussed under Item 1A Risk Factors in ExxonMobil’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and set forth under the heading “Factors Affecting Future Results” on the Investors page of our website at exxonmobil.com. All forward-looking statements are based on management’s knowledge and reasonable expectations and we assume no duty to update these statements as of any future date.