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ExxonMobil missteps lead to disastrous 2020, elimination of one-third of oil reserve estimates

June 17, 2021

The Houston Chronicle: 

Late last month, ExxonMobil’s investors issued a stunning rebuke to the company’s management. At the annual meeting, shareholders elected three new board members over management’s objections. Much has been said about what upheaval means for cutting carbon emissions, but shareholders not only passed resolutions calling for greater climate responsiveness, they also demanded transparency.

The shareholder backlash was a long time coming for a company that had suffered through more than a decade of high-profile misfires. ExxonMobil’s former chief executive admitted he paid too much for its $41 billion acquisition of XTO Energy, a U.S. natural gas driller. Exxon’s Canadian oil sands projects have struggled financially. And the company fumbled an exploration deal with Russia’s Rosneft.

These missteps culminated in a disastrous 2020, in which the company slashed estimates of its oil reserves by one-third, and wrote off $16.8 billion in oil and gas assets in the U.S. alone. Investors should not lose sight of these underlying problems as the global economy recovers in 2021 and oil prices surge.

[ Clark Williams-Derry ] 

More: Opinion: Exxon investors need to drill deeper to find truth

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