XTO Energy
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12 апреля, 08:59

Катар намерен инвестировать в газовые активы «ExxonMobil» в США

По сообщению «Dow Jones» со ссылкой на источники, «Exxon Mobil Corp.» ведет переговоры о партнерстве с Катаром, по итогам которых эта ближневосточная страна может стать владельцем газовых месторождений в США. Со слов источников, в результате этого соглашения государственным нефтегазовым гигантом «Qatar Petroleum» будут инвестированы средства в крупные газовые запасы «Exxon» в США, которые простираются от […]

02 апреля, 13:52

Shell Selects Watkins as President for Its U.S. Operations

Watkins is going to take over the title of President for Shell's (RDS.A) U.S. operations from Culpepper on Jan 1, 2019.

28 сентября 2017, 16:50

ExxonMobil Focuses on Methane Emission Reduction in U.S.

ExxonMobil (XOM) is working to reduce its environmental footprint and also counter accusations by environmentalists through various moves.

28 июля 2017, 17:01

ExxonMobil увеличила прибыль во II квартале почти вдвое

Крупнейшая нефтяная компания США Exxon Mobil Corp. увеличила чистую прибыль во втором квартале 2017 года почти вдвое благодаря повышению стоимости реализации нефти и газа, а также росту маржи в сфере переработки.

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07 июля 2017, 23:59

Summit Midstream to build Delaware basin gas complex

Summit Midstream Partners LP has agreed to develop, own, and operate an associated gas gathering and processing system servicing ExxonMobil Corp. subsidiary XTO Energy Inc.’s acreage in the northern Delaware basin in Eddy and Lea counties of New Mexico.

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16 апреля 2017, 02:55

Does This Energy Deal Signal A Dollar Bear Market?

By Chris at www.CapitalistExploits.at Market dislocations occur when financial markets, operating under stressful conditions, experience large widespread asset mispricing. Welcome to this week’s edition of “World Out Of Whack” where every Wednesday we take time out of our day to laugh, poke fun at and present to you absurdity in global financial markets in all its glorious insanity. While we enjoy a good laugh, the truth is that the first step to protecting ourselves from losses is to protect ourselves from ignorance. Think of the “World Out Of Whack” as your double thick armour plated side impact protection system in a financial world littered with drunk drivers. Selfishly we also know that the biggest (and often the fastest) returns come from asymmetric market moves. But, in order to identify these moves we must first identify where they live. Occasionally we find opportunities where we can buy (or sell) assets for mere cents on the dollar – because, after all, we are capitalists. In this week’s edition of the WOW: ExxonMobil In January of this year, ExxonMobil spent a whopping $6.6 billion on new oil leases - a sizeable amount even for Exxon whose net income in 2016 was $7.8 billion. This was their biggest deal since the buyout of XTO Energy in 2009 when, after largely ignoring shale oil for a decade, they played catch up shelling out $41 billion for XTO - all of it in Exxon stock. More on that in a moment... A popular narrative around this deal is the following: This is dollar bearish. After all, oil and the dollar are relatively inversely correlated so why would you go spend a bunch of money on oil assets if you thought the dollar was going materially higher? You probably wouldn't, so what makes Exxon special and why should we pay attention to them? Why have so many analysts been pontificating over Exxon's moves? After all, companies, even behemoths like Exxon, get it wrong all the time. Insider knowledge: Since Rex Tillerson, former CEO of Exxon had just been appointed Secretary of state, and it figures that old Rex would have spent some time on the golf course with the Donald, and after chatting about that cute new intern with the lazy eye, he would have gathered some insights into Trump's game-plan. And so to see XOM turn around and do this deal, it's understandable to assume there's some plausibility to a Trump administration that will actively devalue the dollar sending commodities in general and certainly the black stuff higher... at least in greenbacks. Maybe... Here's a 20-year chart of Exxon Mobil. There are many many things which affect prices. Investor psychology, currency risk, sector risk... and algos... Yes, those blasted algos which I'll come to in a minute. But first take a look at the valuations numbers for XOM. If you really think that XOM is worth 44x Earnings then please share with me whatever drugs you're taking. Taking a look at earnings growth vs share price growth for the last five years (till Year end 2016) we can see that the share price increased by 7.2% from $84.76 to $90.89, all the while EPS decreased by 78.2% from $8.67 to $1.89. Whoah! Ok, so the share price has backed up a fraction and is around $83 today not $90, but we're still staring at an over 70% collapse in EPS. 78% actually. Essentially earnings are flat while the share price has been rocketing higher. Mmmm... Cyclical It's worth remembering that commodity markets are cyclical. They do well in good times and poor in bad. Markets it is said are forward looking. In this respect maybe just maybe investors are thinking that XOM can grow into the valuation and are pricing in this growth. In order for this to happen then presumably we're going back to $100 oil. Perhaps... Here's what I think is really happening: Machines are buying everything from currencies to equities, bonds, and anything in between. The algos dictate where the capital gets allocated. Where this matters for a company like Exxon is that it sits in a number of the "low vol ETPs" - I wrote about these animals before. So essentially what happens is the algos buy the low vol equities and ETPs, and ironically their buying depresses the volatility even more, causing the algos to recalibrate and add additional weightings to the equities exhibiting low volatility, causing more buying. Think of a fat kid eating candy. It tastes good so he stuffs more into his face, and that too tastes good so he shovels some more in. When he vomits we don't know but vomit he will. So while the stock price is elevated you have to ask yourself the question: What would you do if you were Exxon management, staring at an overvalued stock price and being in the business of energy? I know what I'd do... I'd use my paper to acquire relatively undervalued assets. It's the perfect trade and it's got bugger all to do with my view on the dollar. Even if I overpay a little on the asset if I'm doing so with very overvalued paper then net-net I'm arbitraging the value difference. Question Cast your vote here and also see what others would do Have a good weekend! - Chris "Just remember that a pat on the back is only 18 inches from a kick in the behind." — Rex W. Tillerson -------------------------------------- Liked this article? Don't miss our future missives and podcasts, and get access to free subscriber-only content here. --------------------------------------

21 марта 2017, 23:53

Большая нефть планирует вложиться в сланцевый бум

Такие компании как Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc и Chevron Corp. с удовольствием вложатся в американский сланец. В сумме они планируют потратить $10 млрд. в этом году, тогда как пару лет назад они не планировали практически никаких инвестиций. Гиганты завоевывают позиции в Западном Техасе с такими проектами как Bongo 76-43. Месторождение, которое пробуривается на глубину 10.000 футов в пустыне, чтобы затем бурить горизонтально на милю, пробиваясь сквозь камни к легкой сырой нефти из простирающегося Пермского бассейна. В то время как первую главу сланцевой революции в США можно отнести к бурильщикам без проведения исследований - Гарольду Хэмму и ныне покойному Обри Мак-Клендону, успешно превративших занятые деньги в миллиарды, Bongo 76-43 уже финансируется Shell. Если крупные игроки окажутся успешными, они быстро уцепятся за энергетический бизнес в США, увеличат добычу в стране, а также будут удерживать цены низкими, подавляя влияние крупных игроков вроде Саудовской Аравии. И даже с крупными балансами, эти игроки будут строиться удешевлять стоимость добычи сланца, как и игроки до них. Независимые компании противоречиво реагируют на приход крупных игроков в бизнес. Exxon, Shell и Chevron будут иметь возможность потратить больше, чем независимые компании. Если они займутся поглощением, независимые игроки также смогут извлечь из этого свою выгоду.   Exxon инвестировала существенные средства в сланец в 2010 году, когда купила XTO Energy Inc. за $41 млрд. В течение многих лет крупные компании не тратили больших средств на сланец, сосредоточившись вместо этого на традиционном бурении, а также строительстве огромной инфраструктуры в полной пустоте. Такие месторождения в основном бурились глубоко под водой, где одно только отверстие могло стоить $100 млн., тогда как сланцевые месторождения можно развивать всего на $5 млн. каждое, плюс более быстрая разработка и рентабельность уже на $20 за баррель. Big Oil’s Plan to Buy Into the Shale Boom, Bloomberg, Mar 21Источник: FxTeam

07 марта 2017, 11:16

Exxon объявила об инвестициях на $20 млрд, но значительный объем относится к старым проектам

Крупнейшая нефтяная компания США и мира по капитализации Exxon Mobil Corp. объявила об инвестициях в размере $20 млрд в течение 10 лет, преимущественно в американскую нефтехимическую и нефтеперерабатывающую отрасли.

02 марта 2017, 23:01

Beware The Bakken

Via Arthur Berman of OilPrice.com, It’s the beginning of the end for the Bakken Shale play. The decline in Bakken oil production that started in January 2015 is probably not reversible. New well performance has deteriorated, gas-oil ratios have increased and water cuts are rising. Much of the reservoir energy from gas expansion is depleted and decline rates should accelerate. More drilling may increase daily output for awhile but won’t resolve the underlying problem of poorer well performance and declining per-well reserves. December 2016 production fell 92,000 barrels per day (b/d)–a whopping 9 percent single-month drop (Figure 1). Over the past two years, output has fallen 285,000 b/d (23 percent). This was despite an increase in the number of producing wells that reached an all-time high of 13,520 in November. That number fell by 183 wells in December. (Click to enlarge) Figure 1. Bakken Production Declined 92,000 bopd (9 percent) in December. Source: North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. Well Performance Is Declining Well performance was evaluated for eight operators using standard rate vs. time decline-curve analysis methods. These operators account for 65 percent of the production and also 65 percent of producing wells in the Bakken play (Table 1). (Click to enlarge) Table 1. Operators, Cumulative Oil Production, Total Producing Wells and 2012-2015 Wells Used for Decline-Curve Analysis (DCA) in this study. Source: Drilling Info and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. Estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) decreased over time for most operators and 2015 EUR was lower for all operators than in any previous year (Figure 2). This suggests that well performance has deteriorated despite improvements in technology and efficiency. (Click to enlarge) Figure 2. Bakken EUR (Estimated Ultimate Recovery) Has Generally Decreased Over Time. Source: Drilling Info and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. Figure 3 shows Bakken EUR and the commercial core area in green. The map on the left shows all wells with 12-months of production history and the map on the right, all wells with first production in 2015 and 2016. Most 2015-2016 drilling was focused around the commercial core area. The fact that EURs from these core-centered locations were lower than earlier, less favorably located wells indicates that the commercial core is showing signs of depletion and well interference. (Click to enlarge)  Figure 3. Bakken EUR map showing all wells with 12-months of production and all wells with first production in 2015 and 2016. Source: Drilling Info and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. Well-level analysis indicates a fairly systematic steepening of decline rates over time. Figure 4 shows Continental Resources wells with first production in 2012 and 2015. 2012 wells have a shallow, super-harmonic (b-exponent = 1.3) decline rate but 2015 wells have a steeper, weakly hyperbolic (b-exponent=0.2) decline rate. Oil reserves for 2012 wells averaged 343,000 barrels but only 229,000 barrels for 2015 wells–a 33 percent decrease in well performance. Steeper decline rates result in lower EURs. (Click to enlarge) Figure 4. Well-level analysis shows steeper decline rates for more recent wells than for older wells. Source: Drilling Info and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. Related: One Shocking Chart On The Death Of A Gold Nation Gas-oil ratios (GOR) for most operators increased from 2012 through 2014 and then, decreased for wells with first production in 2015 (Figure 5).* (Click to enlarge) Figure 5. Bakken gas-oil ratios generally increased over time but then decreased in 2016. Source: Drilling Info and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. Changing GOR is important because it suggests decreasing reservoir energy. The Bakken has a solution gas drive mechanism. Initially, oil is produced by liquid expansion across the pressure drop from the reservoir to the well bore. Later, gas dissolved in the oil expands and this is the mechanism that lifts oil to the surface. Rapidly increasing GOR in the Bakken probably indicates partial reservoir depletion and subsequently decreasing GOR suggests more advanced depletion accompanied by declining reservoir pressure, declining oil production and increasing water cut (Figure 6).  (Click to enlarge) Figure 6. Increasing gas-oil ratio indicates partial reservoir depletion–Decreasing gas-oil ratio indicates advanced depletion. Source: Schlumberger and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. The sequence of events summarized in Figure 6 is demonstrated in Bakken field production shown below in Figure 7. Gas increased before oil production peaked in December 2014 and continued increasing through March 2016, and then declined. (Click to enlarge) Figure 7. Bakken gas production increased as oil production peaked and then it declined. Source: Drilling Info and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. Water cut—water as a percent of total liquid produced—has increased for most operators over time (Figure 8) and this provides additional support for progressive Bakken depletion. (Click to enlarge) Figure 8. Bakken water cut has generally increased over time. Source: Drilling Info and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. Company Performance, Break-Even Prices and Future Drilling Locations Well performance for the 8 key operators shown above in Table 1 above provides a framework for company performance and break-even prices for the Bakken play. Reserves were estimated for more than 4,400 wells with first production in 2012 through 2015 using standard rate vs. time methods. Decline-curve analysis (DCA) was used to evaluate wells with at least 12 months of production history for key operators. Production group DCA was done separately by operator and year of first production for oil, gas and water. Results are summarized in the following tables. (Click to enlarge) Table 2. Summary tables of key operator EUR and break-even prices and economic assumptions. Source: Drilling Info and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. None of the key operators’ average well breaks even at current Bakken wellhead prices of $42.50 per barrel although ConocoPhillips ($43.08 break-even price) is very close. EOG, XTO and Marathon all break even at prices less than $50 per barrel but other operators need higher oil prices to break even. It is worth noting that Bakken wellhead prices are about $10 per barrel less than WTI benchmark prices. Current well density was calculated by measuring the area of the $50 commercial area (406,000 BOE cutoff) and dividing by the number of horizontal wells within that area. There are 5,500 producing wells within the 1.2 million acre commercial area shown in Figure 9. That equates to a current well density of 215 acres per well. Figure 9. Bakken EUR map showing the $50 (406,000 BOE EUR) commercial area and well density table. Source: Drilling Info and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. Tight oil operators describe infill spacing of 40 to 120 acres per well favoring the lower end of that range. Current well density in the Bakken core of 215 acres per well suggests substantial infill locations remain yet declining EURs, increasing water cut and falling GOR do not support further infill drilling. The Bakken is unique because of the extraordinary lengths of lateral wellbores compared with other tight oil plays. Laterals are commonly more than 10,000 feet in length and often approach 12,000 feet. Figure 10 shows lateral lengths in the Bakken. It is clear that within the commercial core area, most laterals exceed 8,000 feet. Available evidence suggests that current well density is sufficient to fully drain reservoir volumes. That implies that further drilling will not result in producing new oil volumes but will interfere with and cannibalize production from existing wells. (Click to enlarge) Figure 10. Bakken lateral length map. Source: Drilling Info and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. The Downside of Technology The Bakken play represents the fullest application of modern horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies. The Middle Bakken and Three Forks reservoirs are tight, naturally fractured sandstones that respond exceptionally well to long laterals and multi-stage fracture stimulation. Field rules allowed long laterals well before these were feasible in other plays. The downside of efficiency and technology is that depletion has accelerated. Resulting higher initial rates masked underlying field decline that is becoming apparent only in wells with first production in 2015. The evidence for depletion is compelling but pressure data is not publicly available and is needed to complete the case. The most appealing aspect of resource plays is their apparent lack of risk. Source rocks are the drilling target so finding oil and gas is given. Because the plays are continuous accumulations, there is no need to map and define a trap. Since the reservoirs are tight, seals are not an issue either. But commercial risk should be more of a concern for investors than it seems to be so far. The downside is that there is no way to stay away from water and it is produced from day one in large volumes. The Bakken has produced 1.5 billion barrels of water along with its 2.2 billion barrels of oil over the decades. Where are they putting it and what does that cost? Investors should be worried. As analysts cheered the resilience of shale plays after the 2014 price collapse, nearly a billion barrels of Bakken oil were produced at a loss--about 40 percent of total production since the 1960s. Vast volumes of oil were squandered at low prices for the sake of cash flow to support unmanageable debt loads and to satisfy investors about production growth. The clear message is that investors do not understand the uncertainties of tight oil and shale gas plays. And all major Bakken producers continue to lose money at current wellhead prices. If observations presented here hold up, there may be nowhere for the Bakken to go but down. Higher oil prices may not help much because the best days for the play are behind us. Future profits were sacrificed for short-term objectives that lost the companies and their shareholders money. The early demise of the Bakken should serve as a warning about the future of other tight oil plays.

24 января 2017, 10:06

Рекс Тиллерсон, Exxon Mobil и отделение нефти от государства

Звезда Рекса Тиллерсона взошла в январе 1998 года, когда он стал руководить операциям Exxon в России и регионе Каспийского моря. Среди других операций был трудный, но многообещающий нефтяной проект «Сахалин-1».

15 декабря 2016, 16:47

ExxonMobil Names Darren Woods as CEO; Tillerson Resigns

ExxonMobil Corporation (XOM) recently announced its decision to appoint Darren Woods as the chairman and CEO.

13 декабря 2016, 05:19

Trump taps Tillerson for secretary of state

The ExxonMobil CEO has been criticized for his close ties to Russia.

31 июля 2016, 09:29

Exxon Mobil сократила прибыль, Chevron в убытках

Крупнейшая нефтяная компания США и мира Exxon Mobil Corp. во II квартале 2016 г. сократила чистую прибыль на 59% из-за сохранения низких цен на сырье и ухудшения рентабельности нефтепереработки. Вторая по капитализации и выручке нефтяная компания США Chevron Corp. в апреле-июне неожиданно зафиксировала чистый убыток третий квартал подряд. Чистая прибыль Exxon в апреле-июне сократилась до $1,7 млрд, или $0,41 в расчете на акцию, по сравнению с $4,19 млрд, или $1 на акцию, за аналогичный период прошлого года.

29 июля 2016, 17:08

Exxon Mobil сократила прибыль, Chevron в убытках

Крупнейшая нефтяная компания США и мира Exxon Mobil Corp. во II квартале сократила чистую прибыль на 59%. Вторая по капитализации и выручке нефтяная компания США Chevron Corp. в апреле-июне неожиданно зафиксировала чистый убыток третий квартал подряд.

29 июля 2016, 17:08

Exxon Mobil сократила прибыль, Chevron в убытках

Крупнейшая нефтяная компания США и мира Exxon Mobil Corp. во II квартале сократила чистую прибыль на 59%. Вторая по капитализации и выручке нефтяная компания США Chevron Corp. в апреле-июне неожиданно зафиксировала чистый убыток третий квартал подряд.

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21 июня 2016, 02:41

Мощный взрыв прогремел в США: есть погибшие и пострадавшие

Трагедия, унесшая жизни людей, произошла на нефтяной скважине, расположенной в западной части американского штата Северная Дакота.

29 апреля 2016, 17:15

Прибыль Exxon упала на 63%, Chevron получила убыток

Крупнейшая в мире нефтяная компания Exxon Mobil Corp. в I квартале 2016 г. получила самую низкую прибыль с 1999 г. Вторая по капитализации и выручке нефтяная компания в США Chevron в январе-марте зафиксировала чистый убыток второй квартал подряд.

29 апреля 2016, 17:15

Прибыль Exxon упала на 63%, Chevron получила убыток

Крупнейшая в мире нефтяная компания Exxon Mobil Corp. в I квартале 2016 года получила самую низкую прибыль с 1999 года. Вторая по капитализации и выручке нефтяная компания в США Chevron в январе-марте зафиксировала чистый убыток второй квартал подряд.

29 апреля 2016, 17:15

Прибыль Exxon упала на 63%, Chevron получила убыток

Крупнейшая в мире нефтяная компания Exxon Mobil Corp. в I квартале 2016 года получила самую низкую прибыль с 1999 года. Вторая по капитализации и выручке нефтяная компания в США Chevron в январе-марте зафиксировала чистый убыток второй квартал подряд.

18 февраля 2016, 17:46

Exxon's Never-Ending Big Dig

Flooding the Earth With Fossil Fuels Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com Here’s the story so far. We have the chief legal representatives of the eighth and 16th largest economies on Earth (California and New York) probing the biggest fossil fuel company on Earth (ExxonMobil), while both Democratic presidential candidates are demanding that the federal Department of Justice join the investigation of what may prove to be one of the biggest corporate scandals in American history.  And that’s just the beginning.  As bad as Exxon has been in the past, what it’s doing now -- entirely legally -- is helping push the planet over the edge and into the biggest crisis in the entire span of the human story. Back in the fall, you might have heard something about how Exxon had covered up what it knew early on about climate change. Maybe you even thought to yourself: that doesn’t surprise me. But it should have. Even as someone who has spent his life engaged in the bottomless pit of greed that is global warming, the news and its meaning came as a shock: we could have avoided, it turns out, the last quarter century of pointless climate debate. As a start, investigations by the Pulitzer-Prize winning Inside Climate News, the Los Angeles Times, and Columbia Journalism School revealed in extraordinary detail that Exxon’s top officials had known everything there was to know about climate change back in the 1980s. Even earlier, actually. Here’s what senior company scientist James Black told Exxon’s management committee in 1977: "In the first place, there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels.” To determine if this was so, the company outfitted an oil tanker with carbon dioxide sensors to measure concentrations of the gas over the ocean, and then funded elaborate computer models to help predict what temperatures would do in the future. The results of all that work were unequivocal. By 1982, in an internal “corporate primer,” Exxon’s leaders were told that, despite lingering unknowns, dealing with climate change "would require major reductions in fossil fuel combustion." Unless that happened, the primer said, citing independent experts, "there are some potentially catastrophic events that must be considered... Once the effects are measurable, they might not be reversible." But that document, “given wide circulation” within Exxon, was also stamped “Not to be distributed externally.” So here’s what happened. Exxon used its knowledge of climate change to plan its own future. The company, for instance, leased large tracts of the Arctic for oil exploration, territory where, as a company scientist pointed out in 1990, “potential global warming can only help lower exploration and development costs.”  Not only that but, “from the North Sea to the Canadian Arctic,” Exxon and its affiliates set about “raising the decks of offshore platforms, protecting pipelines from increasing coastal erosion, and designing helipads, pipelines, and roads in a warming and buckling Arctic.” In other words, the company started climate-proofing its facilities to head off a future its own scientists knew was inevitable. But in public? There, Exxon didn’t own up to any of this. In fact, it did precisely the opposite. In the 1990s, it started to put money and muscle into obscuring the science around climate change. It funded think tanks that spread climate denial and even recruited lobbying talent from the tobacco industry.  It also followed the tobacco playbook when it came to the defense of cigarettes by highlighting “uncertainty” about the science of global warming. And it spent lavishly to back political candidates who were ready to downplay global warming. Its CEO, Lee Raymond, even traveled to China in 1997 and urged government leaders there to go full steam ahead in developing a fossil fuel economy. The globe was cooling, not warming, he insisted, while his engineers were raising drilling platforms to compensate for rising seas. "It is highly unlikely," he said, "that the temperature in the middle of the next century will be significantly affected whether policies are enacted now or 20 years from now." Which wasn’t just wrong, but completely and overwhelmingly wrong -- as wrong as a man could be. Sins of Omission In fact, Exxon’s deceit -- its ability to discourage regulations for 20 years -- may turn out to be absolutely crucial in the planet’s geological history. It’s in those two decades that greenhouse gas emissions soared, as did global temperatures until, in the twenty-first century, “hottest year ever recorded” has become a tired cliché. And here’s the bottom line: had Exxon told the truth about what it knew back in 1990, we might not have wasted a quarter of a century in a phony debate about the science of climate change, nor would anyone have accused Exxon of being “alarmist.” We would simply have gotten to work. But Exxon didn’t tell the truth. A Yale study published last fall in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that money from Exxon and the Koch Brothers played a key role in polarizing the climate debate in this country. The company’s sins -- of omission and commission -- may even turn out to be criminal. Whether the company “lied to the public” is the question that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman decided to investigate last fall in a case that could make him the great lawman of our era if his investigation doesn’t languish. There are various consumer fraud statutes that Exxon might have violated and it might have failed to disclose relevant information to investors, which is the main kind of lying that's illegal in this country of ours. Now, Schneiderman's got backup from California Attorney General Kamala Harris, and maybe -- if activists continue to apply pressure -- from the Department of Justice as well, though its highly publicized unwillingness to go after the big banks does not inspire confidence. Here’s the thing: all that was bad back then, but Exxon and many of its Big Energy peers are behaving at least as badly now when the pace of warming is accelerating. And it’s all legal -- dangerous, stupid, and immoral, but legal. On the face of things, Exxon has, in fact, changed a little in recent years. For one thing, it’s stopped denying climate change, at least in a modest way. Rex Tillerson, Raymond’s successor as CEO, stopped telling world leaders that the planet was cooling. Speaking in 2012 at the Council on Foreign Relations, he said, “I'm not disputing that increasing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere is going to have an impact. It'll have a warming impact.” Of course, he immediately went on to say that its impact was uncertain indeed, hard to estimate, and in any event entirely manageable. His language was striking. “We will adapt to this. Changes to weather patterns that move crop production areas around -- we'll adapt to that. It's an engineering problem, and it has engineering solutions.” Add to that gem of a comment this one: the real problem, he insisted, was that “we have a society that by and large is illiterate in these areas, science, math, and engineering, what we do is a mystery to them and they find it scary. And because of that, it creates easy opportunities for opponents of development, activist organizations, to manufacture fear.” Right. This was in 2012, within months of floods across Asia that displaced tens of millions and during the hottest summer ever recorded in the United States, when much of our grain crop failed. Oh yeah, and just before Hurricane Sandy. He’s continued the same kind of belligerent rhetoric throughout his tenure. At last year’s ExxonMobil shareholder meeting, for instance, he said that if the world had to deal with “inclement weather,” which “may or may not be induced by climate change,” we should employ unspecified “new technologies.” Mankind, he explained, “has this enormous capacity to deal with adversity.” In other words, we’re no longer talking about outright denial, just a denial that much really needs to be done. And even when the company has proposed doing something, its proposals have been strikingly ethereal. Exxon’s PR team, for instance, has discussed supporting a price on carbon, which is only what economists left, right, and center have been recommending since the 1980s. But the minimal price they recommend -- somewhere in the range of $40 to $60 a ton -- wouldn’t do much to slow down their business.  After all, they insist that all their reserves are still recoverable in the context of such a price increase, which would serve mainly to make life harder for the already terminal coal industry. But say you think it’s a great idea to put a price on carbon -- which, in fact, it is, since every signal helps sway investment decisions. In that case, Exxon’s done its best to make sure that what they pretend to support in theory will never happen in practice. Consider, for instance, their political contributions. The website Dirty Energy Money, organized by Oil Change International, makes it easy to track who gave what to whom. If you look at all of Exxon’s political contributions from 1999 to the present, a huge majority of their political harem of politicians have signed the famous Taxpayer Protection Pledge from Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform that binds them to vote against any new taxes.  Norquist himself wrote Congress in late January that “a carbon tax is a VAT or Value Added Tax on training wheels.  Any carbon tax would inevitably be spread out over wider and wider parts of the economy until we had a European Value Added Tax.” As he told a reporter last year, “I don’t see the path to getting a lot of Republican votes” for a carbon tax, and since he’s been called “the most powerful man in American politics,” that seems like a good bet. The only Democratic senator in Exxon’s top 60 list was former Louisiana solon Mary Landrieu, who made a great virtue in her last race of the fact that she was “the key vote” in blocking carbon pricing in Congress. Bill Cassidy, the man who defeated her, is also an Exxon favorite, and lost no time in co-sponsoring a bill opposing any carbon taxes. In other words, you could really call Exxon’s supposed concessions on climate change a Shell game. Except it’s Exxon. The Never-Ending Big Dig Even that’s not the deepest problem. The deepest problem is Exxon’s business plan. The company spends huge amounts of money searching for new hydrocarbons. Given the recent plunge in oil prices, its capital spending and exploration budget was indeed cut by 12% in 2015 to $34 billion, and another 25% in 2016 to $23.2 billion. In 2015, that meant Exxon was spending $63 million a day “as it continues to bring new projects on line.” They are still spending a cool $1.57 billion a year looking for new sources of hydrocarbons -- $4 million a day, every day. As Exxon looks ahead, despite the current bargain basement price of oil, it still boasts of expansion plans in the Gulf of Mexico, eastern Canada, Indonesia, Australia, the Russian far east, Angola, and Nigeria. “The strength of our global organization allows us to explore across all geological and geographical environments, using industry-leading technology and capabilities.” And its willingness to get in bed with just about any regime out there makes it even easier. Somewhere in his trophy case, for instance, Rex Tillerson has an Order of Friendship medal from one Vladimir Putin. All it took was a joint energy venture estimated to be worth $500 billion. But, you say, that’s what oil companies do, go find new oil, right? Unfortunately, that’s precisely what we can’t have them doing any more. About a decade ago, scientists first began figuring out a “carbon budget” for the planet -- an estimate for how much more carbon we could burn before we completely overheated the Earth. There are potentially many thousands of gigatons of carbon that could be extracted from the planet if we keep exploring. The fossil fuel industry has already identified at least 5,000 gigatons of carbon that it has told regulators, shareholders, and banks it plans to extract. However, we can only burn about another 900 gigatons of carbon before we disastrously overheat the planet. On our current trajectory, we’d burn through that “budget” in about a couple of decades.  The carbon we’ve burned has already raised the planet’s temperature a degree Celsius, and on our present course we’ll burn enough to take us past two degrees in less than 20 years. At this point, in fact, no climate scientist thinks that even a two-degree rise in temperature is a safe target, since one degree is already melting the ice caps. (Indeed, new data released this month shows that, if we hit the two-degree mark, we’ll be living with drastically raised sea levels for, oh, twice as long as human civilization has existed to date.) That’s why in November world leaders in Paris agreed to try to limit the planet’s temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, or just under three degrees Fahrenheit. If you wanted to meet that target, however, you would need to be done burning fossil fuels by perhaps 2020, which is in technical terms just about now. That's why it’s wildly irresponsible for a company to be leading the world in oil exploration when, as scientists have carefully explained, we already have access to four or five times as much carbon in the Earth as we can safely burn. We have it, as it were, on the shelf. So why would we go looking for more? Scientists have even done us the useful service of identifying precisely the kinds of fossil fuels we should never dig up, and -- what do you know -- an awful lot of them are on Exxon’s future wish list, including the tar sands of Canada, a particularly carbon-filthy, environmentally destructive fuel to produce and burn. Even Exxon’s one attempt to profit from stanching global warming has started to come apart. Several years ago, the company began a calculated pivot in the direction of natural gas, which produces less carbon than oil when burned. In 2009, Exxon acquired XTO Energy, a company that had mastered the art of extracting gas from shale via hydraulic fracturing.  By now, Exxon has become America’s leading fracker and a pioneer in natural gas markets around the world. The trouble with fracked natural gas -- other than what Tillerson once called “farmer Joe’s lit his faucet on fire” -- is this: in recent years, it’s become clear that the process of fracking for gas releases large amounts of methane into the atmosphere, and methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. As Cornell University scientist Robert Howarth has recently established, burning natural gas to produce electricity probably warms the planet faster than burning coal or crude oil. Exxon’s insistence on finding and producing ever more fossil fuels certainly benefited its shareholders for a time, even if it cost the Earth dearly. Five of the 10 largest annual profits ever reported by any company belonged to Exxon in these years.  Even the financial argument is now, however, weakening. Over the last five years, Exxon has lagged behind many of its competitors as well as the broader market, and a big reason, according to the Carbon Tracker Initiative (CTI), is its heavy investment in particularly expensive, hard-to-recover oil and gas. In 2007, as CTI reported, Canadian tar sands and similar “heavy oil” deposits accounted for 7.5% of Exxon’s proven reserves. By 2013, that number had risen to 17%. A smart business strategy for the company, according to CTI, would involve shrinking its exploration budget, concentrating on the oil fields it has access to that can still be pumped profitably at low prices, and using the cash flow to buy back shares or otherwise reward investors. That would, however, mean exchanging Exxon’s Texan-style big-is-good approach for something far more modest. And since we’re speaking about what was the biggest company on the planet for a significant part of the twentieth century, Exxon seems to be set on continuing down that bigger-is-better path. They’re betting that the price of oil will rise in the reasonably near future, that alternative energy won’t develop fast enough, and that the world won’t aggressively tackle climate change. And the company will keep trying to cover those bets by aggressively backing politicians capable of ensuring that nothing happens. Can Exxon Be Pressured? Next to that fierce stance on the planet’s future, the mild requests of activists for the last 25 years seem... well, next to pointless. At the 2015 ExxonMobil shareholder meeting, for instance, religious shareholder activists asked for the umpteenth time that the company at least make public its plans for managing climate risks. Even BP, Shell, and Statoil had agreed to that much. Instead, Exxon’s management campaigned against the resolution and it got only 9.6% of shareholder votes, a tally so low it can’t even be brought up again for another three years. By which time we’ll have burned through... oh, never mind. What we need from Exxon is what they’ll never give: a pledge to keep most of their reserves underground, an end to new exploration, and a promise to stay away from the political system. Don’t hold your breath. But if Exxon seems hopelessly set in its ways, revulsion is growing. The investigations by the New York and California attorneys general mean that the company will have to turn over lots of documents. If journalists could find out as much as they did about Exxon’s deceit in public archives, think what someone with subpoena power might accomplish. Many other jurisdictions could jump in, too. At the Paris climate talks in December, a panel of law professors led a well-attended session on the different legal theories that courts around the world might apply to the company’s deceptive behavior. When that begins to happen, count on one thing: the spotlight won’t shine exclusively on Exxon. As with the tobacco companies in the decades when they were covering up the dangers of cigarettes, there’s a good chance that the Big Energy companies were in this together through their trade associations and other front groups. In fact, just before Christmas, Inside Climate News published some revealing new documents about the role that Texaco, Shell, and other majors played in an American Petroleum Institute study of climate change back in the early 1980s. A trial would be a transformative event -- a reckoning for the crime of the millennium. But while we’re waiting for the various investigations to play out, there’s lots of organizing going at the state and local level when it comes to Exxon, climate change, and fossil fuels -- everything from politely asking more states to join the legal process to politely shutting down gas stations for a few hours to pointing out to New York and California that they might not want to hold millions of dollars of stock in a company they’re investigating. It may even be starting to work. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, for instance, singled Exxon out in his state of the state address last month.  He called on the legislature to divest the state of its holdings in the company because of its deceptions. “This is a page right out of Big Tobacco,” he said, “which for decades denied the health risks of their product as they were killing people. Owning ExxonMobil stock is not a business Vermont should be in.” The question is: Why on God’s-not-so-green-Earth-anymore would anyone want to be Exxon’s partner? Bill McKibben, a TomDispatch regular, is the founder of 350.org and Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College. He was the 2014 recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, often called the “alternative Nobel Prize.” His most recent book is Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist.  Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Nick Turse’s Tomorrow’s Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa, and Tom Engelhardt's latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.