Exxon will be focused on hydrocarbons ‘for a long time’

(Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) remains focused on hydrocarbons and plans to press ahead with a $30 billion liquefied natural gas project in Mozambique, a top executive said on Thursday.

“We’ve been in hydrocarbons for over 130 years… it’s the core part of our business and it will be for a long time,” Exxon Senior Vice President Neil Chapman said at a conference in the northern Italian city of Verona.

Chapman’s comments come after a report that Exxon’s board was questioning whether to pursue several major oil and gas projects as investors call on fossil fuel companies to be more cost-conscious and green-energy friendly. read more

Activist investor Engine No. 1 shocked the industry earlier this year when three of its four nominees were elected to the board by Exxon shareholders. The appointment of activist Jeff Ubben in March put a third of the 12-member board in new hands.

“Yes we’ve had changes in the boardroom but it’s the responsibility of management to lay out a clear strategy for stakeholders,” Chapman said.

He said Exxon’s capabilities in oil and gas would support its pivot to the new technologies it was working on of carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and biofuels.

“It’s the pace issue we have to manage and that requires a flexible strategy,” he said.

As oil and gas demand falls in the energy transition, Exxon believes the world is better served by companies supplying the lowest cost barrels with the lowest emissions, he said.

Chapman said the group had not changed its plans over multi-billion-dollar gas investments in Mozambique and Vietnam.

“We don’t know the date (for the Mozambique final investment decision) right now but there’s no change and what was reported in the U.S. media was not correct,” he added.

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