Colossal fossil ExxonMobil announced yesterday that is writing off US$17 to $20 billion in natural gas holdings in North and South America as stranded assets, on the same day that its Canadian subsidiary Imperial Oil declared that it never expects to develop gas properties in Alberta worth up to C$1.2 billion.
Later Tuesday, Exxon no doubt triggered much rending of cloth in executive suites around the world with the news that it will suspend employee bonuses this year, although its five top executives will still “share 554,400 in restricted stock awards, about the same as a year earlier,” Bloomberg reports. “The awards were valued at about US$37.5 million in total last year, but Exxon shares have tumbled about 40% since then.”
Exxon’s gas field write-off is the biggest in its modern history, the news agency states, in a post republished by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Imperial “said it has reassessed the long-term development plans of its unconventional natural gas portfolio in Alberta and no longer plans to develop a ‘significant portion’ of those assets,” The Canadian Press writes.