IEEFA Research

IEEFA Investor Memo ExxonMobil (XOM): Company Is an ‘Outlier’ in How It Reports Write-offs on Canadian Oil Sands Assets

Loss Accounting ‘Largely Overlooked by Industry Analysts;’ Full Transparency Could Affect Balance Sheet by $22 Billion

April 17, 2017  (IEEFA.org) – The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) today published an investor memo questioning whether ExxonMobil has appropriately accounted for its recent write-off of billions of barrels of Canadian oil sands assets. In “ExxonMobil Investment Note,” IEEFA outlines how ExxonMobil remains the exception in the oil industry in its […]

April 17, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Exxon: Telltale Crossover in Late 2014 Marks Where a Major Oil Stock Began to Go South

A Decoupling From the Larger Stock Market 2 Years Ago Portends a Future in Which the World’s Biggest Oil Company Will Be Smaller and Will Not Pay Out as Much in Shareholder Distributions

The world is moving in fits and starts but with gathering momentum toward a more diversified, low-carbon energy mix. The evidence is all around us. One exhibit, of many, is in the report we published this week—“Red Flags on Exxon: A Note to Institutional Investors”—which includes the chart here: ExxonMobil Financial Performance, 2006 – 2015 […]

October 27, 2016 Read More →
IEEFA Report: Red Flags on ExxonMobil: Core Financials Show a Company in Decline

IEEFA Report: Red Flags on ExxonMobil: Core Financials Show a Company in Decline

Potentially Irreversible Slide; Falling Revenues, Rising Debt, Shrinking Capex, Weak Cash Balances Add to Growing Reputational Risk Tied to Climate-Change Controversy; ; Institutional Investors Owe Their Shareholders a Fiduciary Review

CLEVELAND, Oct. 26, 2016 (IEEFA.org) — The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) published a report today that indicates deep financial weaknesses at ExxonMobil (XOM) and suggests the company is in potentially irreversible decline. The report—“Red Flags on ExxonMobil (XOM)”—by IEEFA Director of Finance Tom Sanzillo, cites key metrics that include a 45 […]

October 26, 2016 Read More →
Report: ‘A Constellation of Risks’: How Public Accountability Is Slowing Tar Sands Development

Report: ‘A Constellation of Risks’: How Public Accountability Is Slowing Tar Sands Development

Material Risks: How public accountability is slowing tar sands development (pdf) By: Tom Sanzillo (IEEFA), Lorne Stockman (Oil Change International), Deborah Rogers (Energy Policy Forum), Hannah McKinnon (Oil Change International), Elizabeth Bast (Oil Change International), and Steve Kretzmann (Oil Change International)

October 29, 2014 Read More →
Briefing note: Fossil fuels, energy transition, and risk

Briefing note: Fossil fuels, energy transition, and risk

Briefing note: Fossil fuels, energy transition, and risk (pdf) By Tim Buckley,  Director of Energy Resource Studies, Australasia, IEEFA

April 18, 2014 Read More →

More News and Commentary

Big Oil, ‘Unloved and On Sale’

Sydney Morning Herald: Big Oil is under pressure, unloved and on sale. Energy giants from Exxon Mobil to Royal Dutch Shell are struggling back to their feet after a three-year oil slump, while also fighting to prove they can survive for decades to come amid an accelerating shift to clean energy. So getting dumped by […]

November 17, 2017 Read More →

More Climate Risk to Oil Majors in 2 New Lawsuits Reminiscent of Tobacco Litigation

Reuters: California cities San Francisco and Oakland filed separate lawsuits against five oil companies on Wednesday seeking billions of dollars to protect against rising sea levels they blamed on climate change, according to public documents. The lawsuits, filed in state courts in San Francisco and Alameda Counties, alleged Chevron Corp, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp, BP […]

September 21, 2017 Read More →

Harvard Study Concludes Exxon Misled Investors on Climate Risk

InsideClimate News: A comprehensive, peer-reviewed academic study of ExxonMobil’s internal deliberations, scientific research and public rhetoric over the decades has confirmed empirically that the oil giant misled the public about what it knew about climate change and the risks posed by fossil fuel emissions, the authors said on Tuesday. The paper confirms the findings of […]

August 23, 2017 Read More →

Oil Majors’ Shareholder Dividends Are at Risk, Exxon’s Included

Wall Street Journal: Major oil companies seem to have moved through the stages of grief about low prices, finally arriving at acceptance. During the latest round of sector earnings delivered in recent days, Royal Dutch Shell ’s RDS.B 0.22% boss Ben van Beurden even said oil could be “lower forever”: BP said Tuesday it is […]

August 2, 2017 Read More →

Investors Grow Wary of Big Oil

Wall Street Journal: Three years into an oil-price slump, investors want the world’s biggest oil companies to do something they have historically struggled with: Maintain some financial discipline. The companies are under pressure to show they are continuing to move on from budget-busting projects once common in the industry, as they head into second-quarter financial […]

July 26, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Op-Ed: To Avoid Heavy Losses, Insurance Companies Must Wake Up to Risks of Fossil Fuel Projects

Some Insurance Giants Have Divested from Coal, Yet Sector Continues to Underwrite Coal Projects and Fails to Ask the Right Questions

Insurance underpins our industrial society. Without prudent risk management by the insurance industry, no high rise can be built and no major factory can be operated. Taking a long-term view on risk, insurance companies have warned about the impacts of global warming and encouraged climate action since the 1970s. Their far-sighted position is not purely […]

July 13, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Climate Risk, the Oil Industry, ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson …

The Energy-Policy Story Is Snowballing

President Trump’s flamboyant withdrawal from the Paris Agreement dealt a reputational and economic blow to the U.S., where energy policy is becoming a bigger story than ever. A major but not entirely unrelated subplot is emerging out of an angry-shareholder vote demanding  that ExxonMobil, the biggest oil company in the world, show more accountability in how it […]

Shareholders in ‘Major Rebuke’ to Exxon on Its Climate-Risk Obfuscation

Wall Street Journal: Exxon Mobil Corp. shareholders delivered a major rebuke to the oil giant Wednesday, calling for the company to share more information about how climate change and regulations could impact its operations. The climate proposal won the support of 62% of shareholders who cast ballots at Exxon’s annual meeting, a powerful symbol that […]

June 1, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Shareholder Vote on Exxon Mobil’s Climate-Risk Transparency Suggests a Larger Opening

Fiduciaries Who Embrace Their Responsibilities Will Look Beyond Fossil Fuels

A shareholder vote today on a proposal that would require Exxon Mobil to be more open about the climate risks facing the company is an exciting moment in activist-investor history. Mainstream institutional investors are joining with climate activists in a call for more truth in how Exxon Mobil manages—or mismanages—climate risk. Shareholders are asking specifically […]

IEEFA Swamp Watch: Discord Within the Fossil-Fuel Industry Over What to Do Now

Wrangling, and Uncertainty, Over the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

The swamp is becoming quite the quagmire as arguments bubble up among coal, oil, and gas interests about whether the U.S. should withdraw from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. With the Trump administration in power, the fossil-fuel industry now has the keys to the kingdom. Yet its giants appear confused and in disarray. Whatever […]