Exxon News - 2007

News summaries from company press releases and from unaffiliated news agencies are provided below. The summaries are sorted by month and are further categorized as upstream news, downstream news, and business/finance news.

oilprimer.com makes no claim as to the authenticity of the information posted here, but provides it as a courtesy to our visitors. The information provided on this page was obtained from company-provided press releases and the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, and is believed to be reliable, but we do not guarantee its accuracy. Neither the information, nor any opinion expressed, constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any stock or option or any claim of authenticity. You are encouraged to contact the relevant corporations and news agencies for the most accurate information.


• Upstream news: ­

- President Bush lifted a ban on new oil and gas drilling in Alaska's Bristol Bay, a decision that angered environmentalists and could provoke a battle with the Democratic-controlled Congress over energy policy. The 5.6 million acres of the bay on the west side of the Alaska Peninsula just north of the Aleutian Islands have been off-limits for energy exploration since 1989, after the Exxon Valdez spill. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, in announcing the lifting of the ban, said the move would "enhance America's energy security," and pledged a thorough environmental review before any drilling began. Environmentalists warned that Bush's action could endanger an area rich in marine life, as well as signal a new assault on the long-standing drilling moratorium off much of the U.S. coast, including the West Coast. Environmental groups describe Bristol Bay as home to the world's largest sockeye salmon run, large pollock and cod fisheries, and endangered stellar sea lions and whales. Though much of the nation's coast — except for large sections of the Gulf of Mexico — is off-limits to new drilling under congressional and presidential moratoriums, the congressional ban on new drilling in Bristol Bay was not renewed in 2003 at the urging of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). That left the presidential moratorium in place — until Tuesday. Stevens praised Bush's action, saying it would help the region's struggling economy. No estimate was immediately available on how much oil and gas lie beneath the area that would be opened. Drilling is not expected to begin before 2010. Bush's action is "a good initial step in what I hope will be a wholesale rethinking of energy priorities by this Congress and the president himself," said Rep. John E. Peterson (R-Pa.), who has pushed for opening more coastal waters to natural gas exploration. But Rep. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, a senior Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said that allowing drilling in "one of our nation's most sensitive fisheries underscores the administration's ongoing commitment to extending our addiction to oil." Bush's action comes a month after the Republican-controlled Congress, in one of its last acts, voted to open about 8.3 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for exploration. The administration also announced that it was increasing the royalty rates paid by oil and gas companies for drilling in deepwater leases, drawing praise from congressional Democrats. ­

- Honduras will take temporary control of foreign-owned oil storage terminals as part of a government import program meant to drive down fuel prices, President Manuel Zelaya said. Mr. Zelaya ordered the move after failing to reach a deal with the big oil companies . ­

- Venezuela will end negotiations with foreign oil companies over how it will take a majority control of their operations along the Orinoco River, the country's oil minister, Rafael Ramírez, said. Mr. Ramírez said that ''there's no possible negotiation'' with the foreign companies, but he said that private companies would be allowed to own minority stakes in lucrative oil projects in the Orinoco River basin. ''Every case will be different,'' Mr. Ramírez said. ''We will have an effective majority control.'' The government negotiated last year with the companies about its plans to take majority control of oil operations in the country, but no agreements were reached. In a speech to Congress last week, President Hugo Chávez said the private companies -- BP, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Total and Statoil -- would be given the option to stay on as minority partners. Mr. Chávez also announced plans to nationalize companies within Venezuela's telecommunications, electricity and natural gas industries. The government has already taken majority ownership of Venezuelan oil-producing operations outside the Orinoco region through joint ventures controlled by the state oil company.

• Downstream news: ­

- ExxonMobil and Porsche proudly announced that as part of their long term motorsport contract extension, ExxonMobil will become the Title Sponsor of the Porsche Supercup, which will now be known as the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. The sponsorship demonstrates ExxonMobil’s ongoing commitment to motorsports. ­

- ExxonMobil and Penske Racing announced today that 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner Sam Hornish Jr. will drive the #12 Mobil 1 Dodge in seven NASCAR Busch Series races during the 2007 season. The three-time IndyCar Series champion will join fellow Penske Racing drivers Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch for a limited schedule as Penske Racing expands its presence in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2007.

• Business/Finance news: ­

- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and investment bankers were winners in 2006 as a record $3.7 trillion in mergers and surging stock prices pushed Goldman's profit and Wall Street bonuses to new highs. Amaranth Advisors topped the losers list after bad energy trades drove it out of business in the biggest hedge fund collapse to date. More than 190 companies, including Apple Computer Inc., were caught in an options backdating scandal that has led to earnings restatements and government probes. The year was dominated by deals and deal makers. Buyout firms such as Blackstone Group and Carlyle Group announced a record $718 billion in private equity and management takeovers, including the two biggest leveraged buyouts. Corporate winners included Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's biggest energy company, whose shares rose the most in 26 years. AT&T Inc. claimed a victory on the last business day of the year when the Federal Communications Corp. approved its $86-billion purchase of BellSouth Corp. On the other side of the ledger: U.S. automakers General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group lost money and market share. Yahoo Inc., operator of the most-visited U.S. Internet site, gave up a third of its market value. And Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the biggest retailer, lost sales momentum. In other highlights of 2006: Largest earnings. Exxon Mobil shares rose 36%, their biggest gain since 1980, as crude oil prices averaged a record $66.25 a barrel for the year even after sliding from their July peak of $78.40. The Irving, Texas-based company's net income is forecast to reach $38.5 billion for the year, based on analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, topping last year's $36.1 billion, the most ever earned by a U.S. corporation. ­

- Hugo Chavez spoke, and investors smelled sulfur. Stocks fell sharply in his own country and across Latin America as markets felt the effects of the Venezuelan president's nationalization plans for three key industries. Chavez announced his intent to take control of businesses in telecommunications, electricity and oil that have sizable U.S. investments. The IBC index of the Caracas Stock Exchange plunged 18.7% on Tuesday. Trading in shares of the nation's largest telephone company, popularly known as CANTV, was suspended for two days after they fell 30% in Tuesday morning trading. EDC, the electric power company serving Caracas, the capital, fell 20%. The Caracas exchange, which soared 156% last year, had hit an all-time high before Chavez's announcement. In the U.S., companies with stakes in the affected sectors declined to comment, given the lack of specifics from Chavez, who will be sworn in for a third term and is expected to elaborate on his proposals. CANTV is 28.5% owned by Verizon Communications Inc. of New York, and EDC is 86% controlled by AES Corp. of Arlington, Va. Also in the dark are energy companies Chevron Corp. of San Ramon, Calif., and Texas giants Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips, which have invested billions of dollars in the so-called Orinoco belt, a massive oil field in eastern Venezuela. Venezuela accounts for about 2% of worldwide oil production for Chevron and 5% for ConocoPhillips. Analysts generally expressed caution as they too awaited more information. But Morgan Harting, a senior director at Fitch Ratings in New York, saw reason for longer-term concern, citing the pressures of Venezuela's 50% growth in public spending last year and the prospect of falling oil prices. Markets also were jolted by Chavez's announcement that he would seek to end the autonomy of Venezuela's central bank and that he would ask the congress for special powers giving presidential decrees the force of law. With 100% control of the National Assembly, whose approval he needs, there is little doubt Chavez will prevail. Chavez is a nemesis of the U.S. and of President Bush. He likened Bush to the devil in a speech at the United Nations in September, saying he had left a lingering smell of sulfur at the podium the day before. CANTV, Venezuela's largest privately held company, issued a statement Tuesday asking Chavez to offer details and saying it had received no formal notice of the government's intentions. The nationalizations would seem to quash Verizon's pending deal, signed last year, to sell its controlling stake in CANTV to AmericaMovil and Telmex, companies owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu. The news dragged Mexico's main stock market index down 1.9% on Tuesday. Elsewhere in Latin America, Colombia's market plunged 4.8%, the Argentine market slid 2.7% and Brazil's main index dropped 1.9%. Venezuelan bonds also fell in value, although analysts seemed to believe there was little chance that Chavez in the near term would default on the nation's $27 billion in outstanding foreign debt. They said the country was flush with an estimated $45 billion in reserves from oil sales and that Chavez had an excellent debt payment record, even during the attempted coup and general strike in 2002 and 2003, which crippled the economy. Longer term, the picture is murkier. ­

- Exxon Mobil Corp. must face a lawsuit that claims Indonesian soldiers guarding a natural gas processing plant in Aceh province tortured and killed local residents, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington said. Judges upheld a lower court's denial of Exxon Mobil's request to throw out the case. The suit, filed in 2001 by 11 Indonesians, claims that the soldiers were under Exxon Mobil's control, making the Irving, Texas-based company liable. ­

- ExxonMobil Foundation announced that it will make an additional $5 million in grants available to organizations dedicated to improving education and opportunities for women and girls in developing countries. ExxonMobil's 2007 grants will bring the total commitment for its Educating Women and Girls Initiative to $11.5 million since its inauguration in 2005. ExxonMobil has a long tradition of social contributions and investments in the communities where the company has operations with over $100m in community and social development programs in Africa since 2000. Projects funded by the Educating Women and Girls Initiative help to reduce barriers that prevent girls from attending school and provide women with training to start or improve businesses and nonprofit organizations. ­

- Carbon-trading market developers hope that a potential billion-dollar U.S. market will move closer to reality now that major companies are urging legislation to set mandatory curbs on the gases linked to global warming. Ten major U.S. corporations, including Aloca Inc., DuPont Co. and General Electric Co., have joined with environmental groups to form the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, the Natural Resources Defense Council said. The group will urge President Bush and Congress to pass laws curbing emissions of heat-trapping gases. That would create a market in which companies that produce emissions below the set limit can sell credits to others that generate excess emissions. Scientists link the buildup of the gases, such as carbon dioxide emitted from sources like smokestacks, cars and the burning of forests, to higher temperatures and melting glaciers, which could increase the frequency of deadly heat waves, flooding and storms. The European Union, which set up a market to meet its emission requirements under the Kyoto Protocol, has traded about $20 billion in credits in just a few years. The EU carbon market allows companies to trade permits with one another or shop around in the developing world for the cheapest ones. But for such markets to work, governments have to set mandatory limits on the gases. Bush pulled the U.S. out of the Kyoto Protocol and has opposed mandatory curbs. The Climate Action Partnership follows moves by Exxon Mobil Corp. to meet with other corporations on climate legislation options. The energy giant, long a source of ire for environmentalists and carbon market developers, is in talks with about 20 companies hosted by Resources for the Future, a Washington nonprofit organization. The talks are expected to generate a report to legislators by the fall on how climate policy options might affect sectors of the U.S. economy. Exxon has met separately with green and religious groups on warming. Although the Climate Action Partnership supports a carbon market, Exxon, which has long opposed investing in alternative energies that cut emissions, such as solar power, has not changed its position. But environmentalists and carbon market developers say companies have moved faster on warming since the Democrats won control of Congress in November. Also, potential 2008 presidential contenders from both parties favor mandatory carbon markets. ­

- Shares in Venezuela's largest telephone company plunged after President Hugo Chavez said the government would take control of it before compensating private owners, including Verizon Communications Inc., for the hundreds of millions of dollars they have invested in the enterprise. Chavez announced this month that his government would nationalize Compania Anonima Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela, or CANTV, and Electricidad de Caracas, the Venezuelan capital's largest power provider, which is controlled by AES Corp. of Virginia. It was unclear from Chavez's statement, made during "Alo Presidente" ("Hello President"), his Sunday-afternoon television talk show, whether the takeover would happen before or after the expiration in May of the license held by its owners. The management of CANTV, which was privatized in 1991, says it has not been served with official notice of a takeover. Shares of the company fell 11% on Monday on the Caracas Stock Exchange. New York-based Verizon, which owns 28.5% of CANTV, had agreed to sell its interest in the utility to Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu for $667 million in a deal announced in 2005. The status of that sale remained unclear. Chavez also announced this month that the government would assume control of four major oil projects in eastern Venezuela. ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. of the United States, Total of France and Statoil of Norway have invested billions in the so-called heavy-oil projects. The president also announced Sunday that he would raise the price of gasoline, which is heavily subsidized, from 18 cents a gallon, but he did not say when or by how much. The gasoline price hike would be the first since 1997; in his successful presidential campaign in 1998, Chavez promised not to raise gasoline prices. Chavez also said he would seek to raise taxes to finance economic development projects directed by community councils. The grass-roots governing bodies, which work hand in hand with a new generation of worker-owned cooperatives, are a key element in his "socialism for the 21st century." Chavez is transferring ownership of thousands of state-owned assets — as diverse as steel factories, repossessed hotels and toll roads — to the cooperatives. His announcements came as falling crude oil prices could be cramping lavish public spending programs designed to redistribute the nation's energy wealth to benefit the poor. In addition to spending hundreds of millions of dollars for subsidized retail goods through the Mercal retail chain and capitalizing the worker-owned cooperatives, Chavez has promised to build or help build five foreign refineries, costing billions each. The tax increases would apply to wealthy individuals, banks, property owners and companies. Luxury taxes would be applied to second homes, yachts, airplanes and artwork. ­

- The relative merits of short- and long-term approaches to running companies have been the subject of argument for many years. Which is best: to focus on operational effectiveness and immediate financial returns or on longer-term strategic positioning? Neither, says consultant and author Nikos Mourkogiannis in "Purpose." What really matters is the even longer-term quality of purpose, which "is like your moral DNA. It's what you believe without having to think…. Purpose becomes the moral engine of a company, the source of its energy." Thus Mourkogiannis flatly contradicts Milton Friedman's assertion that maximizing profit should be the purpose of a company. Only a clear — even idealistic — purpose, he says, can provide the direction, unity and mutual respect that binds a company to itself and its customers and creates a truly unique and exciting brand. One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the author's delineation of four essential kinds of purpose and his descriptions of the leaders and companies that have profited from them. The first is the purpose of discovery, which drives innovation and technological breakthroughs. IBM, Sony and Intel have thrived because of their quest for discovery. The second kind of purpose is excellence, inspiring leaders and companies to offer the best products and service possible, such as Berkshire Hathaway, Apple and BMW. In the case of Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway, excellence is manifest in the commitment to invest every penny of shareholders' money as if it were his own. With Steve Jobs and Apple, the purpose is to provide peerless ease of access to network-based services via iMac, iPod and now iPhone. Third is the purpose of altruism, or a wish to be genuinely helpful to customers, represented by Wal-Mart, Marriott and Body Shop. But here is where the author's arguments start to slip. Although we are told that Sam Walton was driven by a burning desire to offer customers the lowest prices, that hardly seems altruistic, especially in light of the complaints issuing from American towns whose businesses have been wrecked by Wal-Mart's predatory pricing. Still, so far so good. It's Mourkogiannis' fourth category, heroism, that appears startling and ill-defined. He cites Ford, Microsoft and Exxon Mobil as championed by heroic leaders. Given Ford's decline in the face of Japanese competitors that build better cars, and the lawsuits leveled at Microsoft for unfair competition and Exxon Mobil for environmental damage, these seem poor examples of heroism. The author also tends to ramble misguidedly into the realm of philosophy in digressions that simply look pretentious. Still, the book is rarely dull and makes refreshing points about the value of integrity and having a genuine vision for one's business. And it offers practical guidelines on how senior executives can identify and promote a sense of purpose. ­

- ExxonMobil will release its fourth quarter 2006 earnings on Thursday, February 1. The news release will be issued over Business Wire. ­

- The Board of Directors of Exxon Mobil Corporation declared a cash dividend of 32 cents per share on the Common Stock, payable on March 9, 2007, to shareholders of record of Common Stock at the close of business on February 9, 2007. This first quarter dividend is at the same level as the dividend paid in the fourth quarter of 2006.


• Upstream news: ­

- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez set a May 1 deadline for the world's biggest oil companies to surrender control of multibillion-dollar crude oil projects, accelerating his raft of nationalizations. Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said the state would seize the Orinico Belt fields if the deadline was missed, threatening U.S. companies such as Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips, British firm BP and Norway's Statoil. In Washington, the White House said it hoped that U.S. companies would be treated in accordance with international regulations. ­

- Asserting the state improperly turned a contract dispute into a fraud action, Exxon Mobil Corporation urged the Alabama Supreme Court to overturn a $3.5 billion punitive damages award. The award resulted from a lawsuit regarding payment of Mobile Bay Project royalties to the state. In 2003, a jury found that ExxonMobil committed fraud in the calculation of royalties it paid the state on production from its Mobile Bay natural gas wells. The jury had to find that the company committed fraud in order to award punitive damages. During oral arguments, Chris King and Sam Franklin, outside counsel for ExxonMobil, maintained that the evidence clearly showed that the state, for tactical reasons, had tried to turn a contract dispute into a fraud claim. In its appeal, the company wrote, "The jury and the trial court rewarded those tactics with a giant punitive damages award. But there was no evidence of fraud, and no basis for any punitive damages. The State could not prove and the evidence they submitted does not prove fraud. That's because there was no fraud." The size of the punitive damage award is clearly unconstitutional, grossly excessive and arbitrary. The punitive damages award is 149 times the compensatory award, and, in its brief, ExxonMobil noted that in 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a $145 million punitive damages verdict against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., in which there were $1 million in compensatory damages. The court's ruling was intended to prevent large punitive damages awarded by juries that bear little resemblance to actual damages. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the court, "We have no doubt that there is a presumption against an award that has a 145-to-1 ratio." Early in the process, ExxonMobil and the State of Alabama disagreed over the proper method of determining royalty payments and agreed the issue would be resolved on audit. In its appeal, ExxonMobil cited a virtually identical case with the same poorly drafted lease language, also decided by the Alabama Supreme Court, in which the court said there could be no fraud because the state intended to audit and independently verify every month's payment and production. Since production began at Mobile Bay, the company has paid more than $1 billion in royalty and lease payments directly to the state. ExxonMobil's total capital investment in Alabama currently exceeds $3 billion and the company employs more than 200 people and numerous contractors, and more than 300 retirees live in the state. ­

- Exxon Mobil Corporation confirmed that its subsidiary, ExxonMobil Libya Limited, has signed an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) with Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) to initiate exploration activity offshore Libya in the Sirte Basin. The agreement includes four blocks located in Contract Area 20, approximately 100 miles off the Libyan coast, which were awarded to ExxonMobil in the third round of EPSA IV licensing in December. The contract area comprises 2.5 million acres and is situated in water depths ranging from approximately 4,000 feet to more than 6,500 feet. ­

- Exxon Mobil Corporation announced that additions to its worldwide proved oil and gas reserves totaled 1.95 billion oil-equivalent barrels in 2006, excluding the effects of using single-day, year-end pricing. Production totaled 1.6 billion oil-equivalent barrels in 2006, with 976 million barrels of liquids and 3.7 trillion cubic feet of gas produced. The corporation replaced 122 percent of production including property sales and 129 percent excluding property sales. ­

- Exxon Mobil announced that it would abandon one of its biggest investments ever, a project with Qatar's state-run oil and gas company to produce clean-burning diesel from natural gas. Instead, Exxon Mobil said that it could concentrate on a new gas drilling project in the emirate.

• Downstream news: ­

- ExxonMobil announced that Mobil 1, the world's leading synthetic motor oil, has been selected by Cadillac as the factory fill motor oil for its 2008 Cadillac Escalade and DTS models, making Mobil 1 standard equipment in every new 2008 Cadillac vehicle that rolls off of the production. ­

- The Films Business of ExxonMobil Chemical (NYSE:XOM) today announced plans to significantly increase production of specialty oriented polypropylene (OPP) films in LaGrange, Georgia. The company will upgrade the LaGrange facility to increase its North American capacity for multi-layer white OPP films. The multimillion dollar investment will allow the company to satisfy the rapid growth in demand for specialty OPP films, such as OPPalyte™ white opaque film for candy cold-seal applications, OPPalyte™ WOS-2 and STW white opaque films for ice cream novelty applications and Label-Lyte™ films for wet glue and pressure sensitive labeling. ­

- Exxon Mobil Corporation announced that phase one of the Sakhalin-1 project offshore Eastern Russia, led by its subsidiary Exxon Neftegas Limited, and including affiliates of Rosneft, RN-Astra and Sakhalinmorneftegas-Shelf, Sakhalin Oil and Gas Development Co., Ltd. and ONGC Videsh Ltd., has reached its targeted peak production rate of 250,000 barrels (34,000 metric tons) of oil per day. Phase one of the project consists of the Chayvo field onshore processing facility and a 140-mile (225-kilometer) pipeline to transport crude west across Sakhalin Island and the Tatar Strait to the DeKastri terminal in the Russian Far East, where it is exported to international buyers. Natural gas production for the peak winter season in 2007 has been 140 million cubic feet (3.92 million cubic meters) per day and is being marketed to two domestic customers in the Khabarovsk Krai. The Sakhalin-1 project includes three offshore fields: Chayvo, Odoptu, and Arkutun Dagi and is an important multiphase investment that addresses the challenge of meeting the world's growing energy demand. The project is a significant example of how technology, know-how and a staged long-term investment approach are helping to develop energy resources in the most cost-effective, efficient, and environmentally-sound way possible. Sakhalin-1 is one of the largest single foreign direct investments in Russia. Project benefits to Russia will include direct revenues to the Russian State estimated at more than US$ 50 billion over the life of the project, improvement of infrastructure, technology transfer and the use of Russian suppliers for contracts, procurement, and workforce. Commercial development brings with it a contribution of US$ 100 million to the Sakhalin development fund over a five-year period. The project will also bring production bonuses of US$ 45 million. The Russian content of contracts awarded to date for the Sakhalin-1 project has exceeded US$ 3.6 billion. ­

- Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil Corporation announced that Qatar Petroleum has offered participation in the Barzan gas project and rights for participation in all future phases of the project to ExxonMobil Middle East Marketing Ltd. (ExxonMobil). In parallel with these discussions, the two entities have collectively decided not to progress the Gas to Liquids (GTL) project and instead to pursue the development of the Barzan Project in the North Field. The initial phase of the Barzan project will supply domestic gas to meet the State of Qatar's infrastructure and industry growth. Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil have agreed to form a joint venture to oversee the project development. ­

- Sinopec, Fujian Province, ExxonMobil and Saudi Aramco* announced the signing of the contract for the Fujian Refining and Ethylene Joint Venture Project. At the same time, Sinopec, ExxonMobil and Saudi Aramco today signed the contract for the Fujian Fuels Marketing Joint Venture Project. The signing of the two joint venture contracts marks significant milestones in the development of China’s first fully integrated Sino-foreign projects that involve refining, petrochemicals and fuels and chemicals marketing. The Fujian Refining and Ethylene Joint Venture Project, located in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, will expand the existing refinery from 80,000 barrels-per-day (4 million tons-per-year) to 240,000 barrels-per-day (12 million tons-per-year). The upgraded refinery will primarily refine and process sour Arabian crude. In addition, the project will construct an 800,000 tons-per-year ethylene steam cracker, an 800,000 tons-per-year polyethylene unit, a 400,000 tons-per-year polypropylene unit and an aromatics complex to produce 700,000 tons-per-year of paraxylene. Support facilities including a 300,000 ton crude berth and power cogeneration will also be built. This joint venture company will be owned by Fujian Petrochemical Company Limited (FPCL) (50%), ExxonMobil China Petroleum and Petrochemical Company Limited (25%) and Saudi Aramco Sino Company Limited (25%). Currently, the project is expected to start up in early 2009. The Fujian Fuels Marketing Joint Venture Project will manage and operate approximately 750 service stations and a network of terminals in Fujian Province. It will be owned by Sinopec (55%), ExxonMobil (22.5%) and Saudi Aramco (22.5%). Together, the Fujian Refining and Ethylene Joint Venture Project and the Fujian Fuels Marketing Joint Venture Project will serve to meet China’s rapidly growing demand for petroleum products and petrochemicals. Synergies among these two world-class, integrated businesses, closely coupled with the strengths of each partner and a reliable supply of crude oil from Saudi Aramco, significantly enhance the competitiveness of this project, and help ensure its world-class performance.

• Business/Finance news: ­

- FOURTH QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS • Earnings excluding special items were $9,840 million, a decrease of 5% or $480 million from the fourth quarter of 2005. • Net income of $10,250 million was down 4% and includes a special tax-related benefit of $410 million. Fourth quarter 2005 net income included a special litigation gain of $390 million. • Spending on capital and exploration projects was $5.1 billion, a decrease of 5% versus 2005. • Excluding entitlement and divestment impacts, liquids production increased by 6%. • Cash flow from operations and asset sales was approximately $9.6 billion, including asset sales of $0.8 billion and $2.4 billion in contributions to the U.S. pension plan. • Earnings per share excluding special items were $1.69, an increase of 2%, reflecting strong earnings and the continuing reduction in the number of shares outstanding. • Production commenced from the Dalia field in Angola. Dalia is estimated to contain nearly 1 billion barrels (gross) of recoverable reserves and is expected to reach peak production of about 225 kbd (gross) in the first quarter of 2007. • Early production of LNG began at Train 5 in the RasGas Joint Venture in Qatar. Initial operations started up only 29 months after the contract award. Completion of the offshore facilities that will supply natural gas to Train 5 on a long-term basis is anticipated by the end of the first quarter 2007. Train 5 is designed to produce 4.7 million tons per year of LNG for anticipated delivery to markets in Asia and Europe. ­

- In charting the oil market, profits are up but outrage is flat. Exxon Mobil Corp. posted 2006 profit of $39.5 billion — the largest ever recorded by a public company. Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell and U.S. refining heavyweight Valero Energy Corp. also registered record-high profits for the year, part of a string of superlative results that is expected to continue when Chevron Corp. releases its earnings today. The hefty profits got a predictable rise out of U.S. politicians and the industry's most-devoted critics. But lower gasoline prices seem to have sapped the anger that kept lawmakers and consumers worked up for much of the last two years. Albert Garcia, filling up Thursday at an Exxon station on Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles, shrugged when he heard about the latest run of oil company profits. Knowing that the earnings would spark a fresh round of criticism, Exxon spokesman Ken Cohen urged reporters to keep things in perspective. Crude closed at $57.30 a barrel, a decline of 6% since the end of 2006 and 14% from a year ago. Gasoline prices have been ebbing in the wake of oil's slide. Consumer advocates stressed that although motorists appeared to be protesting with less vigor, they weren't indifferent to today's prices, which remain well above recent norms. A little more than a year ago, after hurricane-related disruptions sent gasoline prices soaring above $3 a gallon for the first time, the public outcry culminated in a series of congressional hearings, including a November session in which the chief executives of Exxon and its brethren were grilled under oath about what legislators saw as a connection between high pump prices and record profits. There are no plans for a similar hearing in the new Congress. But Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) lashed out at Exxon, calling the company's profit "outlandish" and vowing to promote legislation that would "put helping American consumers ahead of further lining Big Oil's pockets." Already, federal lawmakers have advanced bills that would roll back recent oil industry tax breaks and close a loophole that allowed oil companies to pay the government unusually low royalties on some offshore leases. The lofty cost of oil and fuel boosted the fortunes of Exxon and other oil companies in the first nine months of 2006, and those profits were strong enough to offset a fourth-quarter dip when prices reversed course. Irving, Texas-based Exxon's net income for the fourth quarter fell to $10.25 billion, or $1.76 a share, down 4% from profit of $10.7 billion, or $1.71, in the year-ago quarter. During the final three months of the year, income fell nearly 12% at Exxon's flagship business of exploring for and selling oil and natural gas, and earnings dropped 18% at the company's refining and marketing operations. Revenue for the three months that ended Dec. 31 totaled $90 billion, down more than 9%. The company's full-year profit of $39.5 billion easily surpassed Exxon's 2005 net income of $36.1 billion, a record at the time. Sales rose nearly 2% to a record $377.6 billion in 2006. Total production for the year increased 4%. ­

- Oil prices have fallen, but Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell left their smaller competitors in the dust and reported record annual profits. By making $180 million a day between them, the two largest publicly traded oil companies displayed their ability to ramp up production worldwide. ­

- ExxonMobil Foundation announced a grant of $1 million to USAID to support the efforts of the Ministry of Health in Angola to strengthen and extend malaria prevention and control in that country. The grant was presented at a ceremony in Luanda, Angola, January 30. Since 2000, as part of its Africa Health Initiative, the ExxonMobil Foundation has donated some $30 million to combat malaria and other infectious diseases in Africa. In the same time period, the company has donated more than $100 million to organizations working in Africa that are engaged in important community and social development projects. This contribution to global health initiatives follows the Foundation's 2007 commitment of $5 million to organizations dedicated to improving education and opportunities for women and girls in developing countries, announced at the Vital Voices Summit in Cape Town in mid-January. ­

- Energy stocks have been going gangbusters. Except for those that haven't. Shares of Exxon Mobil and Chevron have both risen more than 20 percent over the last 12 months, but many of the companies that sell equipment and services to the major oil producers haven't fared nearly so well. ­

- Oil's Lasting Presence The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, which poured 11 million gallons of crude oil into the waters of southern Alaska, was one of the worst environmental catastrophes ever. Billions of dollars were spent cleaning up Prince William Sound and other parts of the Gulf of Alaska. ­

- Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) today announced the board of directors has elected Mr. S. R. (Stephen) LaSala as vice president and general tax counsel, Exxon Mobil Corporation, effective April 1, 2007, succeeding Mr. P. E. (Paul) Sullivan, who will retire on April 1, 2007, after more than 37 years of service. Mr. LaSala is currently associate general tax counsel, Exxon Mobil Corporation. ­

- New York State moved to sue Exxon Mobil and four other companies on Thursday to force them to clean up a half-century-old spill of millions of gallons of oil lying under the Greenpoint neighborhood in Brooklyn and to repair environmental damage inflicted on nearby Newtown Creek. ­

- Exxon Mobil announced that it had made an astonishing $39.5 billion in 2006. No company in history, not Microsoft, not Wal-Mart, has ever come close to making the kind of annual profit that this 134-year-old oil giant generated last year. ­

- Regarding "Exxon profit hits record $39.5 billion" (Feb. 2): * As a longtime owner of Exxon Mobil Corp. stock, I think it will be interesting to see whether the company will share any of its record profit with rank-and-file shareholders — or, as in the past, it honors its top executives with more obscene bonus checks. It is time for common shareholders to unite and voice their objections to such actions. United, their voices will cause the boardroom to take notice. Charles W. Buckman. Palm Springs * Yes, $39.5 billion is one heck of a lot of money. At the end of the article, however, you state that Exxon reported $377.6 billion in sales. That works out to a profit margin of a little more than 10%. And 10% sure doesn't seem as if the company is gouging anybody. Clark F. Jackson. Glendora ­

- With dwindling oil supplies, pollution concerns and the ever-present threat of gas prices soaring again, talk of new and better ways to fuel our cars, heat and cool our homes and power our factories has never been greater. What's more, the conversation is emanating increasingly from a source that's been surprisingly quiet until recently — the oil companies themselves. When some of the industry's top executives gather in Houston this week to discuss global energy challenges, finding new and more effective ways to produce oil and gas — as well as alternatives to fossil fuels — will dominate the discussion. And, as the year progresses, expect to see industry leaders speaking in cities across America in an unprecedented campaign to educate the public on energy-related issues and discuss such topics as ethanol and renewable fuels. It's also an opportunity for the companies to polish their images. Why now? The reasons are varied, but increased public and congressional scrutiny of oil companies because of up-and-down gasoline prices and record profits certainly is a factor. The companies' own bottom lines also play a key role: The cost of finding and tapping new oil and gas reserves is on the rise while the worldwide appetite for energy is only getting bigger. At CERA's annual weeklong conference that begins today, dozens of the industry's heaviest hitters — including the chairmen of Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. and a top official of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries — will discuss topics such as supply and demand and initiatives to develop new sources of energy. Already, the discourse is in full swing across the country, led by some unlikely figures. John Hofmeister, head of Royal Dutch Shell's U.S. arm, and James Mulva, ConocoPhillips' chairman and CEO, are taking part in separate speaking tours with other representatives of their companies, talking and listening at town hall meetings in such places as Edwardsville, Ill., and Little Rock, Ark. Outlining his company's 35-city tour recently, Mulva acknowledged that he and others have traditionally done a poor job of conveying to the public how their businesses operate, the challenges they face and the advances they're making. Often, the public's main connection with oil companies comes from filling up cars at the gas station or, recently, reading headlines of record profits. For example, Exxon Mobil this month shattered its own record for the largest annual profit by any public company, bringing in $39.5 billion. And ConocoPhillips reported its best-ever full-year earnings, $15.5 billion for 2006. But what is generally unknown, Mulva said, is that U.S. oil companies have invested $11 billion in North America on renewable and other forms of energy in the last five years. The task of weaning Americans and the rest of the world off fossil fuels will be monumental and lengthy. Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar supply only about 6% of the U.S.' energy needs, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That figure is expected to grow only to about 7% in the next 20 years, the agency forecasts, meaning fossil fuels will still carry the bulk of the load. Mulva said all types of efficient energy sources are needed, but market forces and consumer preferences, not federal mandates, should determine how they're used. He called President Bush's proposal for expanding ethanol use to reduce gas consumption "very well motivated" but said industry leaders "want a seat at the table" when government officials set standards for the use and development of alternative energy sources. Oil companies already are investing heavily in alternatives and new ways to get oil and gas out of the ground. BP, which earned $22 billion in 2006, plans to spend $8 billion over the next decade developing alternative energy using wind, hydrogen and other means. Shell is testing technology that involves drilling holes in fields and inserting electric heaters to gradually heat rock, causing the trapped organic matter — kerogen, in this case — to be released as oil and gas. Yergin said another clear indication of the rising interest in cleaner and more efficient energy is growing investment by venture capitalists. Last year, venture capital investments in industrial and energy deals more than doubled from the year before to $1.8 billion, according to data from Thomson Financial, the National Venture Capital Assn. and PricewaterhouseCoopers. About 40% of that money was earmarked for alternative energy. ­

- The perception that engineering lacks a personal touch is one of the main reasons, experts say, that more women aren’t engineers. A 2003 study by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender found that females choose other careers because they don’t see engineering as a way to help others. As a way to burst this myth, Exxon Mobil Corporation will participate for the fourth year in E-Week’s 2007 Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day by hosting events at multiple locations in the United States and at international facilities throughout the month of February. ­

- The chief executive of Exxon Mobil, Rex W. Tillerson, warned that governments should not rush into policies that could damage the global economy in order to limit carbon emissions. In a speech at a major industry gathering, Mr. Tillerson acknowledged that the planet was warming. ­

- Amid the perennial topics of geopolitics, production challenges and supply and demand, the world's energy leaders have descended on this oil town for a weeklong conference with a surprising new focus: using less oil. Exxon Mobil Corp. Chief Executive Rex Tillerson acknowledged the dangers of global warming but sounded skeptical about alternative fuels. Chevron Corp. CEO David O'Reilly took on the subject in a keynote speech, noting that renewable fuels "have the potential to alter the energy portfolio over the long term." And lunch Tuesday included a recounting of Brazil's success with fuel ethanol. The influential annual conference, sponsored by Cambridge Energy Research Associates, this year is devoting an unprecedented share of the program to unorthodox topics such as alternative power sources, carbon dioxide policy and the future of ethanol and other biofuels. Tillerson started Tuesday's events by reiterating some of the Irving, Texas-based company's — and oil industry's — favorite themes: the need to tap more of this country's oil reserves, the importance of oil to the world economy and the damage new oil taxes could have on the industry's long-term investments to find and produce more petroleum. But he also offered a cautious view on biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. Such renewable fuels are being touted in many circles as the best near-term hope for reducing carbon emissions from gasoline and diesel. He said "the important thing is that the public and policymakers be realistic about the role that biofuels will play and not get ourselves into wishful thinking." O'Reilly of Chevron was a little more upbeat, noting that the San Ramon, Calif., company had invested in a biofuels plant in Texas and funded related research at several universities aimed at lowering the cost of making ethanol from plant matter other than corn. "We're a big player in alternatives … and we're doing a lot of work in the biofuels area," O'Reilly said in a Tuesday interview before his evening speech. "The dollars that are being invested in alternative energies today — that's going to generate new products, new ideas, and it's going to be the marketplace that dictates this, no matter where policy is." However, he disagreed with the notion that renewables would ultimately replace gasoline. "It's not fossil fuels or renewables that's the answer. It's fossil fuels and renewables. We're going to need both, not one or the other." Jose Sergio Gabrielli de Azevedo, chief executive of Brazil's Petrobras oil company, made a point of touting his country's dramatic shift to ethanol-based fuels made from sugar cane. "I'm trying to call attention to the role of Latin America as oil producer and also trying to call attention toward the importance of biofuels as a new source for energy," Gabrielli said. His country, where every gas station has at least one pump dispensing pure ethanol, is considered a model in the shift away from the fossil fuels that have powered cars for a century. Brazil, he said, stands ready to help the United States boost its ethanol use. But that won't happen as long as this country clings to its tariff of more than 50 cents per gallon on imported ethanol. All the talk of ethanol, biofuels and climate change represented a striking departure from the hot topics that have coursed through this energy conference over the last 25 years. But oil industry critics at the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights weren't impressed. "Big Oil CEOs are meeting in Houston this week to develop a message on making their industry look better — greener and more committed to energy efficiency. But their underlying business strategy hasn't changed a bit," the Santa Monica-based consumer group said in a Tuesday statement. ­

- If gasoline prices have you muttering curses at OPEC during each fill-up, maybe you should just say nyet. With global oil output barely covering demand, Russia and other countries outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are wielding more sway. They're affecting the price of oil and everything made from it. Indeed, when world energy leaders gathered in Houston last week to dissect industry issues, their remarks were translated from English into only two other languages — Russian and Chinese. With substantial oil and the world's largest natural gas reserves, Russia has seen its significance grow on the world energy stage. Russia and Qatar, which together hold more than 40% of the world's natural gas reserves, recently agreed to discuss forming a natural gas producers' group akin to OPEC. The suggested gas cartel has picked up a nickname — "GasPEC" — and the displeasure of U.S. officials. The country's trading partners, particularly European nations, have grown increasingly wary amid moves by the Kremlin to use its supplies for political leverage. An Energy Department report described it as "an inclination to advance the state's influence in the energy sector, not to reduce it." Critics cite the Kremlin's efforts to gain more control over oil and natural gas projects that involve major outside oil companies, such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell. They also point to a January dispute between Russia and Belarus over oil taxes that led to a cutoff in the flow of crude oil through a pipeline serving European customers. And a year earlier, natural gas producer OAO Gazprom cut off supplies to Ukraine because the two nations couldn't agree on price — a disruption that also affected exports to Europe. Curtailing a large share of its massive oil and natural gas exports, however, is a threat Russia couldn't afford to carry out, Herold said. Tax receipts from oil and natural gas sales fund about half of Russia's annual budget, she added. In a speech during the Houston event, Bodman chided nations that have used their resource clout to radically change — or cancel — long-term deals with foreign oil companies. Although he did not name the countries, it was an apparent reference to actions by Russia, Venezuela, Ecuador and others. In a speech at the same event, Andrei Reus, Russia's deputy minister of industry and energy, decried the mood of distrust that has begun to color worldwide oil and gas markets. China has become a force in world energy markets because of the country's fast-growing demand for oil and natural gas. The country's rapid rise in energy consumption is closely watched by commodities traders, and other nations have begun to fret that China's drive to secure supplies will keep prices high and make imports harder to come by. ­

- An article on Feb. 9 about New York State's plans to sue five companies to force them to clean up an oil spill in Brooklyn referred imprecisely to a 1990 agreement to recover the oil reached by one of the companies and state environmental officials. When the company struck the deal, it was known as Mobil -- not Exxon Mobil, which has been its name since a 1999 merger. ­

- As a participant in National Engineers Week, ExxonMobil is sending our engineers into eight Fairfax County Public Middle Schools to raise awareness of engineering career opportunities for everyone, especially young women. Designated “Introduction to Engineering Day,” these events highlight career paths in science, technology, engineering and mathematics with the goal of attracting young women and men to the engineering profession, while raising awareness of the impact such careers have on everyday life. ­

- The ExxonMobil Foundation and the Volunteer Center of North Texas have announced the 75 local nonprofit agencies selected to participate in this year's ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program. The agencies are now accepting applications from undergraduate college students interested in a paid summer internship and exposure to the nonprofit sector. Intern salaries and the Volunteer Center’s administrative expenses are funded through a grant from the ExxonMobil Foundation totaling $200,000.


• Upstream news: ­

- The Kern River oil field, discovered in 1899, was revived when Chevron engineers here started injecting high-pressured steam to pump out more oil. The field, whose production had slumped to 10,000 barrels a day in the 1960s, now has a daily output of 85,000 barrels. In Indonesia, Chevron has applied the same technology to the giant Duri oil field, discovered in 1941, boosting production there to more than 200,000 barrels a day, up from 65,000 barrels in the mid-1980s. And in Texas, Exxon Mobil expects to double the amount of oil it extracts from its Means field, which dates back to the 1930s. Exxon, like Chevron, will use three-dimensional imaging of the underground field and the injection of a gas — in this case, carbon dioxide — to flush out the oil. Within the last decade, technology advances have made it possible to unlock more oil from old fields, and, at the same time, higher oil prices have made it economical for companies to go after reserves that are harder to reach. With plenty of oil still left in familiar locations, forecasts that the world’s reserves are drying out have given way to predictions that more oil can be found than ever before. In a wide-ranging study published in 2000, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that ultimately recoverable resources of conventional oil totaled about 3.3 trillion barrels, of which a third has already been produced. More recently, Cambridge Energy Research Associates, an energy consultant, estimated that the total base of recoverable oil was 4.8 trillion barrels. That higher estimate — which Cambridge Energy says is likely to grow — reflects how new technology can tap into more resources. There is still a minority view, held largely by a small band of retired petroleum geologists and some members of Congress, that oil production has peaked, but the theory has been fading. Equally contentious for the oil companies is the growing voice of environmentalists, who do not think that pumping and consuming an ever-increasing amount of fossil fuel is in any way desirable. Increased projections for how much oil is extractable may become a political topic on many different fronts and in unpredictable ways. By reassuring the public that supplies will meet future demands, oil companies may also find legislators more reluctant to consider opening Alaska and other areas to new exploration. On a global level, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which has coalesced around a price of $50 a barrel for oil, will likely see its clout reinforced in coming years. The 12-country cartel, which added Angola as its newest member this year, is poised to control more than 50 percent of the oil market in coming years, up from 35 percent today, as Western oil production declines. Oil companies say they can provide enough supplies — which might eventually lead to lower oil and gasoline prices — but that they see few alternatives to fossil fuels. Inevitably, this means that global carbon emissions used in the transportation sector will continue to increase, and so will their contribution to global warming. The oil industry is well known for seeking out new sources of fossil fuel in far-flung places, from the icy plains of Siberia to the deep waters off West Africa. But now the quest for new discoveries is taking place alongside a much less exotic search that is crucial to the world’s energy supplies. Oil companies are returning to old or mature fields partly because there are few virgin places left to explore, and, of those, few are open to investors. At Bakersfield, for example, Chevron is using steam-flooding technology and computerized three-dimensional models to boost the output of the field’s heavy oil reserves. Even after a century of production, engineers say there is plenty of oil left to be pumped from Kern River. Some forecasters, studying data on how much oil is used each year and how much is still believed to be in the ground, have argued that at some point by 2010, global oil production will peak — if it has not already — and begin to fall. That drop would usher in an uncertain era of shortages, price spikes and economic decline. ­

- Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson told analysts at the New York Stock Exchange that the company expects to start up more than 20 new global projects in the next three years that, at peak, are expected to add 1 million oil equivalent barrels per day to ExxonMobil's base volumes. The project inventory at year-end 2006 is expected to develop 24 billion oil-equivalent barrels net to ExxonMobil. Tillerson noted that ExxonMobil's financial strength, technological expertise, and superior resource base allow it to meet the challenges of today's increasing demand for energy while delivering industry-leading returns. ­

- Exxon Mobil Corp. said that it would spend some of its record profit on more than 20 new projects in the next three years, investments expected to add as many as 1 million barrels a day to its production. Irving, Texas-based Exxon, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, also said its project inventory at the end of 2006 had the potential to develop 24 billion barrels. Chairman and Chief Executive Rex Tillerson said Exxon's capital spending would be about $20 billion a year through the end of the decade. Capital spending in 2006 was nearly $20 billion, up $2.2 billion from 2005. Tillerson told analysts during a presentation at the New York Stock Exchange that Exxon, which produces about 3% of the world's oil, would pursue projects in mature markets such as North America, Australia and the North Sea as well as growth regions such as the Middle East, Russia and West Africa. In South America, Tillerson said, the company had decided to turn over operational control of a joint venture project in Venezuela's Orinoco River region to its partner, Petroleos de Venezuela, Venezuela's government-controlled oil company. Shares of Exxon rose 64 cents to $71.64. ­

- Exxon Mobil, the world’s biggest publicly traded oil company, which earned a record $39.5 billion last year, explained how it was going to spend all that cash. The chairman and chief executive, Rex W. Tillerson, said that Exxon planned to increase investments in oil and natural gas projects to more than $20 billion a year in the next three years, as it faces higher costs. Exxon’s capital expenses have increased more than 30 percent since 2002. Exxon expects to add one million barrels a day of oil and gas to its current production as the company starts more than 20 projects in the next three years, Mr. Tillerson said at an analyst meeting yesterday in New York. These include liquefied natural gas projects in Qatar, deepwater fields in Angola and the Gulf of Mexico, and oil fields in the North Sea. The company, whose emphasis on capital discipline is unrivaled in the industry, said that much of the increase in capital spending was for new projects and not to make up for inflated costs. The company also plans to keep spending billions to buy back shares and pay large dividends to its shareholders. Thanks to high oil prices, which averaged more than $65 a barrel in New York last year, oil companies have had record earnings — none more than Exxon, which last year, for the second consecutive year, reported the largest profit of any American corporation. At home, the high profits have dismayed some lawmakers and led the Democratic-controlled Congress to seek higher taxes from oil companies. Abroad, Exxon is facing tough negotiations with Venezuela, which is seeking to gain more control over its energy sector. Like much of the rest of the industry, Exxon is facing sharply higher costs because of increased energy prices and more activity in the oil and gas sector. The cost of everything involved in finding and pumping oil — from equipment and drilling rates, to manpower, steel, construction material and engineering fees — has increased more than 50 percent since 2004, according to Cambridge Energy Research Associates, an energy consultancy. Exxon, based in Irving, Tex., has been known for its attention to cost control and financial efficiency. That message was repeated by Exxon’s managers on Wednesday, who stressed that budget discipline was the reason for the company’s financial and operational performance. Exxon produces 2.7 million barrels of oil and 9.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day. In 2006, Exxon’s spending on exploration and development projects was $19.9 billion, 12 percent more than in 2005. The company expects that figure to average more than $20 billion from 2008 to 2011. Over the last five years, Exxon has bought back $58 billion worth of its shares, including $25 billion last year. It has also paid $34 billion in dividends since 2002. The only downside to the company’s outlook, analysts said, was that Exxon seemed to have abandoned a production growth target of 3 percent. Even then, executives cited delays at several projects operated by rivals — like the Kashagan oil field of Eni or the Thunder Horse drilling platform of BP — in which Exxon is a minority partner. ­

- All foreign companies operating huge crude projects in Venezuela's Orinoco reserve have agreed to cede operational control to the state, Venezuela's oil company said, another step in President Hugo Chavez's nationalization push. State oil company Petroleos de Venezuela said Thursday that U.S. companies Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips agreed to meet a May 1 deadline decreed by Chavez to hand over operations to PDVSA in two of the four targeted projects. Norway's Statoil quickly followed suit, saying the project that it operates with France's Total would pass to PDVSA too. The companies will form transition committees to oversee the handover of their multibillion-dollar projects' operations in the OPEC nation. Exxon Mobil Corp., the only other foreign company involved in the projects, agreed Monday to form such a body. Spokesmen for Chevron of San Ramon, Calif., and ConocoPhillips of Houston didn't return calls seeking comment. The Orinoco projects turn tar-like oil into synthetic crude.

• Downstream news: ­

- Expanding its comprehensive line of premium motor oils, ExxonMobil has introduced Mobil 1 High Mileage, engineered for the special needs of higher mileage cars. ­

- ExxonMobil Chemical announced the official opening of its new Polymers Automotive Applications Center in Kawasaki, Japan. Officially opened by Jim Harris, senior vice president, ExxonMobil Chemical Company, the applications center will support its polymers portfolio, including specialty elastomers such as Santoprene™ thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV), polypropylene compounds, and other specialty polymers. The new applications center is located at the site of Tonen Kagaku K.K., an affiliate of ExxonMobil Chemical. Consisting of several testing laboratories and processing equipment, the center provides specialized assistance to customers in all aspects of applications development, including material selection, mold design, processing, and testing, to innovate and deliver new products to the marketplace.

­- ExxonMobil Chemical Belgium is expanding the capacity of its hydrocarbon fluids plant in Antwerp to 700,000 tons per year. The project is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2007. ­

- ExxonMobil announces the 11th year of its technical partnership with reigning American Le Mans Series (ALMS) champions General Motors (GM) Corvette Racing team and further support of GM’s Cadillac, Pontiac and Cobalt race teams. The six-time ALMS championship winning Corvette team will continue to only use Mobil 1 lubricants in all engine and gearbox preparations, something it has chosen to do since the team’s formation in 1996. The Corvette team holds Mobil 1 products in such high regard it recommends them for use by other race teams who purchase Corvette Racing cars each season. ­

- Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) will celebrate the completion of RasGas Train 5 in Doha on March 20. RasGas Company Limited is a joint venture owned by Qatar Petroleum (QP) and ExxonMobil RasGas Inc. RasGas Train 5, one of the largest LNG plants in the world, was completed ahead of schedule in just 29 months and under budget. Train 5 is designed to produce 4.7 million tons per year (MTA) of LNG and will supply gas into the northern European market. ­

- ExxonMobil Chemical qualified more than 100 new steam-cracking feedstocks of varying qualities from around the world to run in its plants in 2006. The energy efficiency of its steam crackers has improved by almost 10 percent over the past four years. Feedstock flexibility and energy efficiency are contributing to ExxonMobil Chemical's success, Senior Vice President Sherman Glass, Jr., told the participants at CMAI's 22nd Annual World Petrochemical Conference and Workshops in Houston. ­

- ExxonMobil Chemical announced the successful completion of the expansion of its steam cracker in Singapore. The expansion project, announced in 2005, has increased the ethylene capacity of the world-scale Singapore Chemical Plant by 75,000 tons per year to more than 900,000 tons per year.

• Business/Finance news: ­

- Former astronaut Bernard Harris and the ExxonMobil Foundation have announced the 19 university campus locations that will host the 2007 ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camps this June through August. The two-week residential camps offer innovative programs which enhance middle school students’ knowledge in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) while encouraging youth to stay in school and fostering leadership and citizenship. Each university will host one camp, except the University of Houston, which will be home to two camps. Together, the 20 camps will reach more than 1,000 students. ­

- The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has begun a review of ties between a federal health center that evaluates the risks of chemicals to reproductive health and a consulting firm funded by companies that produce chemicals linked to reproductive disorders. The investigation follows a Times report on Sunday that Sciences International, an Alexandria, Va., firm funded by more than 50 industrial companies, helps manage the federal Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction. Among the firms with financial ties to Sciences International are two that produce bisphenol A, a chemical in polycarbonate plastic bottles that has been linked in animal testing to prostate and breast cancer and reduced fertility. Since 1998, Sciences International has helped manage the federal reproductive health center and prepared draft reports analyzing bisphenol A and 16 other chemicals. The company has a $5-million contract with the center. The center's scientific advisory panel was scheduled to decide whether bisphenol A endangers reproductive health in humans. But director Michael Shelby announced that the panel, after two days of reviewing the 372-page report that Sciences International prepared on bisphenol A, known as BPA, still had too many unresolved questions and was postponing its decision for six weeks. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, which oversees the center, removed Sciences International from overseeing the advisory panel's bisphenol A evaluation while it reviews whether the company's connections to chemical manufacturers pose a conflict of interest. The role of Sciences International at the health center came to the attention of the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy group, when some scientists who study bisphenol A criticized the agency's report as inaccurate and biased toward industry. "This contractor has a clear financial conflict of interest. It was absolute necessity for the panel to postpone this decision," said Jane Houlihan, Environmental Working Group's vice president for research. She said the center also should prohibit Sciences International's involvement in the evaluation of any chemicals related to its industry clients and develop a conflict of interest policy for all contractors. The environmental group said its review of government and company data showed that Sciences International was involved in risk evaluations for at least eight other chemicals produced by its clients. Sciences International's clients have included BPA manufacturers Dow Chemical Co. and BASF. Others clients include Union Carbide, Chevron, DuPont, 3-M, Syngenta, Amvac Chemical, ExxonMobil, the National Assn. of Manufacturers and the American Chemistry Council. Bisphenol A mimics the sex hormone estrogen, which can damage a developing reproductive system. In newborn lab animals, studies have discovered that traces of the chemical — similar to amounts that can leach from hard plastic infant and water bottles — reduce sperm counts and cause genetic changes that are precursors of prostate cancer and breast cancer. The plastics and chemical industries say the levels that leach from polycarbonate bottles are too low to be harmful, while more than 100 government-funded studies have found effects on lab animals at low doses. Polycarbonate is an inflexible plastic used for infant bottles, multi-gallon water containers and refillable sports bottles. BPA is also used to line cans of food and in some dental sealants. ­

- The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), a major new program designed to help America regain its global leadership position in technological innovation, was launched today by ExxonMobil and leaders in America’s education community. The creation of NMSI comes in response to the call for action by the National Academies’ 2005 blue ribbon panel report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm. According to the panel of 20 experts, improving American students’ performance in math and science coursework is the most effective way to increase the United States’ global competitiveness.

­- Exxon Mobil Foundation donated $1 million to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) in support of the organization’s efforts to increase minority degree attainment by reducing financial barriers to college. The company made the contribution at the UNCF’s 63rd Annual Awards Dinner in New York on March 9, where it was the presenting sponsor. This year’s Annual Awards Dinner raised $2.6 million in support of the organization. The Annual Awards Dinner brings together 1,400 friends and supporters of UNCF, including board members, college presidents, corporate partners, students and alumni. This year, former Presidents George H.W. Bush and William J. Clinton were presented with UNCF’s highest honor, The Frederick D. Patterson Award. The award is given to individuals and corporations who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the expansion of educational opportunities to deserving young men and women. ­

- A House committee released documents that showed hundreds of instances in which a White House official who was previously an oil industry lobbyist edited government climate reports to play up uncertainty of a human role in global warming or play down evidence of such a role. In a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the official, Philip A. Cooney, who left government in 2005, defended the changes he had made in government reports over several years. Mr. Cooney said the editing was part of the normal White House review process and reflected findings in a climate report written for President Bush by the National Academy of Sciences in 2001. They were the first public statements on the issue by Mr. Cooney, the former chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Before joining the White House, he was the “climate team leader” for the American Petroleum Institute, the main industry lobby. He was hired by Exxon Mobil after resigning in 2005 following reports on the editing in The New York Times. The White House said his resignation was not related to the disclosures. Mr. Cooney said his past work opposing restrictions on heat-trapping gases for the oil industry had had no bearing on his actions once he joined the White House. Mr. Cooney, who has no scientific background, said he had based his editing and recommendations on what he had seen in good faith as the “most authoritative and current views of the state of scientific knowledge.” Democrats focused on fresh details that committee staff members had compiled showing how Mr. Cooney made hundreds of changes to government climate research plans and reports to Congress on climate that raised a sense of uncertainty about the science. The documents “appear to portray a systematic White House effort to minimize the significance of climate change,” said a memorandum circulated by the Democrats under the committee chairman, Representative Henry A. Waxman of California.

- Government scientists, armed with copies of heavily edited reports, charged that the Bush administration and its political appointees had soft-pedaled their findings on climate change. The accusations led Democrats and Republicans at the congressional hearing to accuse each other of censorship, smear tactics and McCarthyism. To underscore their charges of the administration's oil-friendly stance, Democrats grilled an oil lobbyist who was hired by the White House to review government climate change documents and who made hundreds of edits that the lawmakers said minimized the impact of global warming. Republicans targeted a NASA director who testified about administration pressure, accusing him of political bias, of politicizing his work and of ignoring uncertainties in climate change science. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing was marked by an open confrontation between Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles) and the ranking Republican, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) — a rare display of direct debate in otherwise carefully choreographed hearings. The hearing was the latest effort to challenge what the Democratic congressional majority sees as the Bush administration's unchecked use of power. In the past few weeks, Democrats have held inquiries or announced plans to examine the unmonitored use of national security letters that allow the government to spy on Americans, the dismissal of U.S. attorneys and the identifying of former covert CIA operative Valerie Plame, among other issues. Waxman has been particularly aggressive, pursuing inquiries about intelligence in the lead-up to the Iraq war and the politics of global warming.

- ExxonMobil Foundation announced that it has made a $1 million contribution toward a new helicopter for Memorial Hermann Life Flight in Houston, Texas.


• Upstream news:

­­ - Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) announced that its subsidiary, Exxon Neftegas Limited (ENL), has completed drilling of the Z-11 well, the longest measured depth extended-reach drilling (ERD) well in the world. Located on Sakhalin Island offshore Eastern Russia, the record-setting Z-11 achieved a total measured depth of 37,016 feet (11,282 meters) or over seven miles. ­

- The Interior Department has put the final touches on a five-year plan to expand oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore from Alaska and Virginia. Department officials said that the plan would include more environmental buffer zones around lease areas.

• Downstream news:

­ - ExxonMobil Chemical Technology Licensing LLC announced the successful start-up of the first licensed application of its new Olgone Process. Nippon Petroleum Refining Company, Ltd.'s (NPRC) installed the Olgone Process at its Muroran Refinery to remove olefins from a heavy reformate feed, replacing the traditional clay treatment process. The mixed xylenes separated from the treated heavy reformate are then converted to paraxylene by NPRC and others. ­

- Expanding the broad presence its flagship Mobil 1 synthetic engine oil has in high-performance motorsports, ExxonMobil announced a global technical cooperative agreement with Honda Performance Development (HPD), a subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., and the Honda technical operations center, for the development and design of Acura's high-performance racing engines. ­

- ExxonMobil Chemical will present its product portfolio, technology and service capability in booth number 1612, Hall C, at IDEA 2007, the International Engineered Fabrics Conference and Expo in Miami from April 24-27. Dennis J. Stanley, Energy Planning Advisor, ExxonMobil Chemical Company, will be a featured speaker in the energy section of the conference. ­

- Further exemplifying the exceptional performance of its flagship Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil, ExxonMobil is proud to announce that Peter Gilbert of Glendale, Wisconsin, completed an ambitious goal of driving one million miles in his 1989 Saab SPG, with the help of Mobil 1 motor oil. ­

- ExxonMobil is working cooperatively with the Mesa, Arizona Police Department which is investigating reports of suspected food contamination at the Mobil On The Run store on Signal Butte Road in Mesa between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, 2007. At this time, the Mesa Police Department has not determined that any food was contaminated. However, the store has been temporarily closed. ­

- The results from the second annual C16 Magazine People’s Choice Awards have been tallied, and Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil has once again been awarded top honors for the “Favorite Car Care – Lubricants” category. For the second consecutive year, Mobil 1 has been chosen by the readers of C16 as their top choice for motor oil, earning it the honors as the People’s Choice of motor oil for 2007. ­

- ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) has identified opportunities to improve energy efficiency at its refineries and chemical plants by 15 to 20 percent through its Global Energy Management System. The company's refining and chemical businesses have implemented more than half of these opportunities, with associated cost savings of approximately $750 million per year, Energy Planning Advisor Dennis Stanley told participants at the International Engineered Fabrics Conference and Expo in Miami Beach. He said, "As a result of these actions, we have avoided the emission of about 8 million tons of associated greenhouse gases in 2006, which is roughly equivalent to removing 1.5 million cars from U.S. roads." ­

- ExxonMobil Chemical (NYSE:XOM) announced the completion of a debottleneck project at the Beaumont Synthetics plant that increases by 40 percent the capacity to produce SpectraSyn Ultra™ High VI high viscosity polyalphaolefins (PAO). The expansion will help meet increasing market demand for the advanced high viscosity PAO, used to create a wide range of high-performance synthetic fluids.

• Business/Finance news:

­ - Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) announced that the company's board of directors has elected Mr. M. W. (Mark) Albers as senior vice president of the corporation effective April 1, 2007. Mr. Albers, 50, currently president, ExxonMobil Development Company, will be a member of the corporation's Management Committee and assume certain responsibilities for the upstream businesses. ­

- Ward Tomlinson and Madeleine Ball were awarded Best in Fair for their science and engineering projects during the 2007 ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair, held April 5-7 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio. More than 1,300 students competed in the event, with 60 students receiving top honors during the competition. ­

- The ExxonMobil Foundation announced its continued support of the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards (HHYA) by sponsoring the Engineering and Mathematics category and contributing $225,000 to the organization. ExxonMobil has been the sponsor of this category for seven years, and has contributed more than $1 million to HHYA to date. ­

- Venezuelan Pres Hugo Chavez sets May 1 deadline for plan to gain control of several major oil projects from US and European companies, and confrontation looms over access to some of world's most coveted energy resources; Venezuelan officials increase pressure on oil companies operating in country, warning that they might sell US refineries meant to process Venezuelan crude oil even as they seek out new outlets in China and elsewhere; Venezuela risks weakening Chavez's 'revolution' by hindering its ability to transform nation's newly valuable heavy oil into riches for years to come; Chavez's national oil company is already showing stress; Venezuela also risks losing Exxon, ConocoPhillips and other companies, which are reluctant to put their employees and billions of dollars under Venezuelan management; state companies tend to be far less efficient and innovative, and more politicized; independent analysts are alarmed by recent increase in explosions and refining accidents in Venezuela of Venezuela's oil production and imports to US. ­

- ExxonMobil is making NASCAR dreams come true this season by giving ordinary fans the chance to join the year’s top drivers in New York City for the 2007 NEXTEL Cup Series Champions Week. ExxonMobil has launched the “Mobil NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series™ Champions Week Game,” a consumer promotion in which the grand prize is a trip for two to the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champions Week activities, a prize valued at approximately $10,000. ­

- There are few safe places left for oil companies in the Niger Delta, the epicenter of this country's petroleum industry. Armed rebel gangs have blown up pipelines, disabled pumping stations, and kidnapped over 150 foreign oil workers in the last year. Companies now confine employees to heavily fortified compounds. ­

- A decline in oil and gas prices is expected to translate into lower profits for the big oil companies. ­

- In commemoration of Africa Malaria Day 2007 (April 25th), executives and employees of the Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) are set to participate in a series of events in Africa, the United States and Europe. ­

- ExxonMobil will release its first quarter 2007 earnings on Thursday, April 26. The news release will be issued over Business Wire. ­

- In commemoration of Africa Malaria Day 2007 (April 25th), the ExxonMobil Foundation announced the award of a series of grants, totaling more than $4 million, that will support efforts in Angola, Chad, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria to battle malaria and other infectious diseases. ­

- The Board of Directors of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) declared a cash dividend of 35 cents per share on the Common Stock, payable on June 11, 2007, to shareholders of record of Common Stock at the close of business on May 14, 2007. This second quarter dividend compares with 32 cents per share paid in the first quarter of 2007. ­

- Despite a winter of relatively soft oil and natural gas prices, Exxon Mobil reported another surge in profit for the first quarter of the year because of stronger earnings from its refining, marketing and chemicals businesses. ­

- ExxonMobil's first quarter net income was $9,280 million, up 10% from the first quarter of 2006. Higher refining, marketing and chemical margins were partly offset by a decrease in crude oil and natural gas realizations.


• Upstream news:

­­ - The Bush administration proposed leasing out millions of acres along the coasts of Alaska and Virginia to oil and gas drillers, a move that would end a longstanding ban on drilling in those environmentally sensitive areas.

• Downstream news:

­ - ExxonMobil Chemical's affiliate, Tonen Chemical Corporation, is now producing on a commercial line its innovative microporous films for hybrid and electric vehicles (HEV/EV). The films are designed to meet the safety, reliability and power performance requirements of lithium-ion batteries (LIB) used in these applications. The separators are produced using a proprietary wet, bi-orientation manufacturing process. The new films are co-extruded using specially tailored, high heat resistant polymers for improved separator properties. These enhancements to Tonen Chemical’s proven technology ensure consistent separator quality and easy adoption in HEV LIB applications. The advanced performance separators exhibit a unique combination of properties including enhanced permeability, higher meltdown temperature and melt integrity, without compromising the shutdown temperature and mechanical strength. The higher meltdown temperature significantly increases the film’s thermal safety margin. ­

- ExxonMobil Chemical will present its products and technology at Booth 301, Hall 2D at the Chinaplas 2007 International Convention and Exhibition Center in Guangzhou from May 21-24, 2007. ExxonMobil Chemical's products will be demonstrated on manufacturing equipment at select machine manufacturer booths at the exhibition. These include high clarity films for flexible packaging and lamination and stretch films for packaging applications. ­

- ExxonMobil Chemical (NYSE:XOM) has earned awards for energy efficiency from the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and from the Industrial Energy Technology Conference (IETC) hosted by the Energy Systems Laboratory of the Texas A&M University System. ­

- ExxonMobil Chemical has introduced a new specialty elastomer that complies with the leading regulations for potable water contact in Europe. Designed for cold and warm (up to 60 degrees C/140 degrees F) water contact applications, Santoprene™ TPE XF241-80EU meets the potable water regulations of France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Compliance with the NSF regulations in the United States is being pursued, while countries in Asia and Oceania tend to follow European and UK regulations respectively. ­

- ExxonMobil Chemical has introduced a new softer version of the Santoprene™ thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPV) that bond with engineering thermoplastics (ETPs). Santoprene TPV 45 B100 is the latest addition to ExxonMobil Chemical‘s rapidly expanding bonding portfolio which now includes 25 Santoprene TPV grades that bond with ETPs, nylons, metals and various polyolefins. With demand increasing, additional bonding grades are in development. ­

- ExxonMobil Chemical's asset base in the Middle East and Asia is ideally positioned to meet petrochemical demand growth, Senior Vice President Jim Harris told participants at the 2007 China Petrochemical Focus conference in Shanghai. Harris explained that over the next 10 years, the company expects that 60 percent of the world's petrochemicals growth to occur in Asia, over one-third in China alone.

• Business/Finance news: ­

- Venezuelan Pres Hugo Chavez seizes last remaining oil projects controlled by large American and European companies as he consolidates control over economy; denounces US economic influence in fiery speech at refinery complex ­

- ExxonMobil announced that more than $6.9 million has been donated to 80 colleges and universities in Texas through the ExxonMobil Foundation’s 2006 Educational Matching Gift Program. ExxonMobil employees, retirees, surviving spouses and directors contributed $1.9 million to Texas institutions of higher education in 2006, which was matched by the ExxonMobil Foundation with more than $5 million in unrestricted educational grants. ­

- ExxonMobil announced that more than $490,000 has been donated to 21 colleges and universities in Florida through the ExxonMobil Foundation’s 2006 Educational Matching Gift Program. ­

- ExxonMobil announced that more than $3.2 million has been donated to 97 colleges and universities in New York through the ExxonMobil Foundation’s 2006 Educational Matching Gift Program. ­

- ExxonMobil announced that more than $1.1 million has been donated to 31 colleges and universities in New Jersey through the ExxonMobil Foundation’s 2006 Educational Matching Gift Program. ­

- ExxonMobil announced that more than $1.2 million has been donated to 36 colleges and universities in Virginia through the ExxonMobil Foundation’s 2006 Educational Matching Gift Program. ­

- ExxonMobil announced that more than $2.2 million has been donated to 20 colleges and universities in Louisiana through the ExxonMobil Foundation’s 2006 Educational Matching Gift Program. ­

- ExxonMobil announced its donation of more than $33 million to 953 colleges and universities across the United States through the ExxonMobil Foundation’s 2006 Educational Matching Gift Program. ­

- ExxonMobil announced that more than $748,000 has been donated to 34 colleges and universities in North Carolina through the ExxonMobil Foundation’s 2006 Educational Matching Gift Program. ­

- Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) issued its 2006 Corporate Citizenship Report (CCR) describing the company's global efforts relating to the economic, environmental, and social performance of its operations, while continuing to help meet world energy demand. ­

- Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) announced that shareholders elected Steven S. Reinemund to its board of directors. Mr. Reinemund is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo, Inc. ­

- Floyd Norris column on disclosures appearing in quarterly reports from American public companies showing that companies are betting billions on tax breaks that may not work out; says disclosures also show that some companies keep fighting over taxes for decades; holds some companies are still fighting over audits that began in 1980s--leaving companies at risk of paying billions in taxes and penalties; cites tax cases involving Exxon Mobil, Occidental Petroleum, Merck & Co, General Electric and AT&T.


• Upstream news:


• Downstream news:

­ - Watching and doing are usually two very different things, especially when it comes to driving high-performance vehicles, but ExxonMobil is giving drivers the opportunity to do both as part of a new promotion. ExxonMobil announced the launch of the “Mobil 1 High Performance Experience,” which will reward drivers for changing their oil by giving them the chance to win one of hundreds of prizes, including the grand prize package: a trip for two to the 2008 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring race and a 2007 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan. ­

- ExxonMobil Chemical Company announced it will begin construction of a facility to manufacture new specialty elastomer compounds that can improve the durability of tires, make them lighter weight by using less raw material and significantly reduce fuel consumption. Start-up of the plant is expected in early 2008 to satisfy demand for the products that combine the flexibility and elasticity of rubber with the low air permeability of plastic. ­

- ExxonMobil Chemical Technology Licensing LLC and S-Oil Corporation announced the successful start-up of ExxonMobil's PxMax technology at S-Oil's Onsan refinery and chemical complex in South Korea. The PxMax process licensed by ExxonMobil and implemented at the Onsan refinery replaced a non-selective toluene disproportionation (TDP) process that produced equilibrium mixed xylenes. The selective nature of the PxMax process provides S-Oil with a paraxylene-enriched mixture that is further processed into sales grade paraxylene product at S-Oil's facility. ­

- ExxonMobil Chemical has completed a debottleneck project at its Specialties Plant in Edison, N.J., to increase production of Synesstic™ Alkylated Naphthalene (AN) Blendstocks by about 40 percent. ­

- ExxonMobil announced that a new addition to its Mobil Pegasus Series of high-performance lubricants for natural gas engines, Mobil Pegasus 1005, will be introduced worldwide. Formulated with the highest quality basestocks and advanced additive technology, Mobil Pegasus 1005 is designed to provide today’s high output, low-emissions four cycle gas engines with exceptional levels of protection while also delivering superior performance for older model engines. ­

- ExxonMobil Chemical announced that it will add 130,000 tons per year of capacity to its ExxsolTM hydrocarbon fluids plant in Jurong Island, Singapore. This will bring Singapore fluids production to over 500,000 tons per year. Commercial quantities of the product from the new facility are expected to be available in the fourth quarter 2008.

• Business/Finance news:

­ - ExxonMobil and the City of Dallas kicked off the 2007 ExxonMobil Green Team by breaking ground on the first of four new homes to be built in the historic Joppa neighborhood in conjunction with Dallas-Area Habitat for Humanity. ­

- ExxonMobil announced the kick-off of this year’s ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program (CSJP) in Texas. Now in its 36th year nationwide, the Texas programs pair 139 undergraduate college students with Dallas and Houston-area nonprofits through an internship program which is mutually beneficial to the students and agencies. ­

- Dr. Stuart R. McGill, 64, senior vice president of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), has announced his intention to retire effective July 31, 2007 after more than 38 years of service. ­

- Keone Hon of Kamuela, HI was named as the 2007 Hispanic Heritage Youth Award (HHYA) in Engineering and Mathematics, an award sponsored by ExxonMobil. Hon is a graduating senior of Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H. and was honored for his outstanding accomplishments in engineering and mathematics during a ceremony today in Boulder, Colo. ­

- Speaking at Chatham House, London, Rex W. Tillerson, Chairman and Chief Executive of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), discussed two critical energy challenges which the world currently faces: meeting the economic needs of growing populations, especially in developing countries, and addressing the risks of climate change. Tillerson was speaking as part of Chatham House's new International Business Leaders Programme. He described the actions ExxonMobil is taking in partnership with others to address both challenges, and also discussed a framework for economic and climate change policymaking. Reaffirming ExxonMobil's commitment to being a constructive and active participant in dialogues concerning proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Tillerson outlined the company's views on important elements for policymaking. He highlighted ExxonMobil actions to increase energy efficiency in the short-term, advance current emission-reducing technologies in the medium-term, and develop breakthrough technologies in the long term. Citing ExxonMobil's long standing commitment to energy efficiency, he said that steps the corporation has taken since 1999, resulted in the avoidance of 12 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2006 alone which is the equivalent to taking about two million U.S. cars off the road. In describing ExxonMobil's work with partners, Tillerson reported that the company is working on an innovative fuel system using liquid hydrocarbon fuels to generate hydrogen onboard vehicles, potentially reducing emissions without the need for a dedicated hydrogen distribution infrastructure. ­

- Federal lawmakers took aim at oil companies and service station owners, accusing them of cheating customers by ignoring fuel's tendency to expand with higher temperatures. U.S. motorists could pay an extra $1.5 billion this summer because of it, they said. The "hot fuel" price penalty is legal — and not in dispute. But consumer groups, truckers and others say the cost to drivers is soaring along with gasoline and diesel prices. They want gas stations to install devices that would end the inequity by automatically adjusting volume according to the temperature at the pump. ­

- It was ''Malaria in Africa Week'' here in New York. Not officially, of course. But by coincidence, two big malaria-related events took place that were by turns moving, inspiring and invigorating. ­

- Senate Democrats are seeking a major reversal of energy tax policies that would take billions of dollars in tax breaks and other benefits from the oil industry to underwrite renewable fuels. ­

- ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil refuse to meet Venezuela's deadline to reach agreement on ceding control of their major oil production ventures, in what could be their imminent separation from billions of dollars in investments; possible rupture with two companies is viewed by oil analysts as sign that Pres Hugo Chavez is pressing ahead with efforts to assert greater authority over some of most coveted oil reserves in Western Hemisphere; possible exit of two major American oil companies from Venezuela may not have immediate impact on American energy supplies, but any increase in oil prices that does result will only help Chavez finance his broadening government social policies; possible vacuum in expertise could eventually be filled by Chinese, Iranian or other state oil companies; Venezuelan Energy Min Rafael Ramirez comments; investments at stake are large, with values ranging from $2.5 billion to $4.5 billion for Conoco if Venezuela takes ownership of its heavy oil projects; Exxon stands to lose about $800 million. ­

- Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips have decided to abandon their heavy crude oil projects in eastern Venezuela rather than cede majority ownership and operating control to the government, Venezuelan officials said Tuesday. President Hugo Chavez had set the deadline for the six foreign owners of four mega-projects in Venezuela's Orinoco Belt region to agree to terms of turning over control to Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, the state-owned oil company. Chavez then said he was taking over the fields whether the firms agreed or not. The demands are part of a broad move by the socialist Chavez government to "re-nationalize" the energy, telecommunications and banking sectors. This year Chavez nationalized the country's largest telephone company and the largest power generator in Caracas, the capital, both of which were controlled by U.S. companies. The U.S. State Department on Tuesday called on Chavez to pay the oil companies a fair price for their investments. The four Orinoco projects are Petrozuata, controlled by ConocoPhillips; Sincor, by Total of France and Norway's Statoil; Ameriven by ConocoPhillips and Chevron Corp.; and Cerro Negro by Exxon Mobil and BP of Britain. Since the early 1990s, the companies have invested about $17 billion in complex methods and machinery to pump, transport and process oil with the consistency of tar. ConocoPhillips stands to lose close to 5% of its global oil production by walking away from the Orinoco. In a statement late Tuesday afternoon, the Houston-based company said it was bracing for the loss of the entire $4.5-billion value of its two Orinoco projects, though it is continuing to negotiate with the Chavez government for "appropriate compensation." Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil, with a much larger scope of oil production operations, will lose 2% of oil production. Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela's energy minister, said Chevron, Statoil, BP and Total had agreed to the terms and would remain in the Orinoco Belt. All told, the Orinoco fields generate about 550,000 barrels of oil a day, or about one-fifth of Venezuela's overall oil output. The region has been a rare bright spot in Venezuelan oil production, which has declined to 2.6 million barrels a day from 3.4 million barrels since a crippling general strike by oil workers in 2002. Although U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman expressed concern Tuesday that U.S. oil supplies could be affected by the two companies' withdrawals, analysts expect little short-term effect on oil prices or supplies. Shares of ConocoPhillips fell $2.24, or 2.9%, to $75.80 on Tuesday, while Exxon Mobil fell 55 cents to $81.82.


• Upstream news:


• Downstream news:

- Celebrating a significant milestone in its more than 50-year history of delivering advanced turbine oils to the industrial marketplace, ExxonMobil announced the global introduction of its new high performance Mobil DTE 700 Series turbine oil. Formulated with carefully selected basestocks and additives, Mobil DTE 700 is designed for use in light- and moderate-duty gas turbines, as well as steam turbines. Mobil DTE 700 meets or exceeds 19 major industry and OEM’s specifications for gas and steam turbine oils, including those of Alstom, GE, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Siemens. In extensive testing, Mobil DTE 700 demonstrated exceptional demulsibility retention, oxidation stability and deposit control, three of the most important performance characteristics for turbine oils. In fact, Mobil DTE 700 is one of the few lubricants that have passed the new MHI Dry-Turbine Oil Stability Test, which is designed to measure the deposit control capabilities of turbine oils.

- ExxonMobil Chemical announced that it has begun commercial production of butyl rubber at its Notre Dame de Gravenchon (NDG) plant in France using a new proprietary breakthrough process technology that it pioneered. The new technology enables ExxonMobil Chemical to significantly increase its butyl rubber production capacity from its existing plants. Moreover, the technology also improves energy efficiencies as it enables the butyl rubber polymerization process to be run at more efficient temperatures. The new process technology is the product of a multi-million dollar, multi-year program that utilizes ExxonMobil’s strengths in research and development as well as in manufacturing. The breakthrough provides ExxonMobil unique advantages in manufacturing and further enhances its position as an innovator in butyl rubber manufacturing technology.

- Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, the second-largest publicly traded pipeline partnership, won federal approval for a rate plan it sought to fund a $400-million expansion of its California-to-Las Vegas fuel pipeline. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, meeting in Washington, approved Kinder Morgan's rate-plan request for the 550-mile Calnev pipeline, which ships gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from Colton. The company plans to build a 16-inch diameter pipeline to increase capacity on the system by 43,000 barrels a day, to 186,000 barrels. Houston-based Kinder Morgan Energy could have the expanded pipeline operating by late 2009 or early 2010. Its bid to increase capacity on the system is supported by several state officials and members of Congress. Several companies that use the existing pipeline, including Exxon Mobil Corp., ConocoPhillips, Valero Energy Corp. and BP, protested the rate plan, claiming it would put the entire financial risk on them, the shippers, and allow the partnership to charge unreasonable rates.

• Business/Finance news:

- The New York State attorney general's office filed a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil and four other companies to force them to clean up a 57-year-old oil spill that has polluted the soil beneath Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and left traces of toxic chemicals in nearby Newtown Creek. Correction: July 28, 2007, Saturday An article on July 18 about a lawsuit by New York State seeking the cleanup of an oil spill in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, misstated the number of defendants. (The error was repeated in an article on July 19 about cleanup efforts at the site.) The suit names only one company -- Exxon Mobil -- not five. The state had previously signaled its intent to sue four other companies -- BP, Chevron, KeySpan and Phelps Dodge -- but did not do so. Correction: August 1, 2007, Wednesday An article and headline on July 19 about Exxon Mobil's cleanup of an underground oil spill in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, referred imprecisely to the source of the 17 million gallons of oil and oil products that the state estimates has contaminated Newtown Creek and its banks. Although an explosion in 1950 contributed to the contamination, the area has been used by various petroleum companies for more than 140 years, and the 17 million gallons accumulated gradually over that time -- not all at once after the explosion. (The error also appeared on Nov. 1, 2005; June 23, 2006; and on Feb. 9, July 16 and July 18 of this year.) The article on July 19 also referred incorrectly to an agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation, that reviewed Exxon Mobil's water cleanup operation this year. It is a state agency, not a city one. The articles on July 18 and July 19 referred incompletely to soil tests taken to determine whether the spill has released toxic vapors into the neighborhood. Although previous tests, conducted by the Riverkeeper environmental group, showed the presence of such vapors, the most recent tests in residences in the area, conducted by the state, were negative. ­

- Venezuela's national oil company Petroleos de Venezuela is shaken by claims of corruption and internal dissent, indicating fissures within institution largely responsible for financing Pres Hugo Chavez's widening array of social welfare programs and foreign aid projects; Energy Min Rafael Ramirez, who is also president of company, says it cannot hire enough drilling rigs, raising concern over its ability to halt declines in oil production; Ramirez is focus of criticism amid claims of illegal deals with oil-service companies on his watch; attacks on him are viewed as part of power struggle among Chavez's supporters; Petroleos de Venezuela is responsible for half of total government revenues and three-quarters of Venezuelan export revenues. ­

- ExxonMobil will release its second quarter 2007 earnings on Thursday, July 26. The news release will be issued over Business Wire. ­

- The Board of Directors of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) declared a cash dividend of 35 cents per share on the Common Stock, payable on September 10, 2007, to shareholders of record of Common Stock at the close of business on August 13, 2007. This third quarter dividend is at the same level as the dividend paid in the second quarter of 2007. Through its dividends, the corporation has shared its success with its shareholders for more than 100 years and has increased its annual dividend payment to shareholders for 25 consecutive years. ­

- EXXONMOBIL'S CHAIRMAN REX W. TILLERSON COMMENTED: ExxonMobil's second quarter net income was $10,260 million. Earnings per share were up 6% from the second quarter of 2006. Lower natural gas realizations were mostly offset by higher refining, marketing and chemical margins. Record first half net income of $19,540 million increased by 4% versus 2006 and 12% on an earnings per share basis over the first half of 2006. ExxonMobil continued to actively invest in the second quarter, spending $5.0 billion on capital and exploration projects. For the first half of 2007, spending on capital and exploration projects was $9.3 billion. The Corporation distributed a total of $9.0 billion to shareholders in the second quarter through dividends of $2.0 billion and share purchases to reduce shares outstanding of $7.0 billion, an increase of 14% versus the second quarter of 2006. ­

- Exxon Mobil reports unexpected drop in second-quarter profit as big refining gains failed to offset drops in production; reports net income of $10.25 billion, down 1 percent from $10.36 billion year earlier; revenue fell slightly, to $98.4 billion from $99 billion; Exxon says its production was affected by cutbacks from some OPEC members; drop in production was sharpest in US, where Exxon's output fell nearly 10 percent, to 393,000 barrels per day; production from Europe and Africa also fell; output rose in Russia, Canada, Asia and Middle East; Royal Dutch Shell says net income rose 18 percent, to $8.67 billion; oil and gas production fell 2 percent, to 3.18 million barrels per day; Shell's chief executive Jeroen van der Veer says he is still debating whether to develop major natural gas field in Iran, given pressure European oil companies are facing from US government not to do business there ­

- Don't let Exxon Mobil Corp.'s 1% drop in second-quarter profit fool you. It was still the fourth-best quarterly result for an American company ever. And analysts say the company's massive global footprint points to more big quarters. The world's largest publicly traded oil company said that lower natural gas prices and a drop in production hurt results for the April-June period, contributing to a rare miss of Wall Street expectations. But Exxon Mobil's net income of $10.26 billion was still eye-popping and off only slightly from the $10.36 billion it earned in the second quarter of 2006 — the third-best U.S. quarterly result. It already holds the record for the No. 1 quarterly and annual profits. On a per-share basis, Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil reported earnings of $1.83 a share in the most recent quarter, up from $1.72 a year earlier, reflecting about 7% fewer shares on the market because of a stock buyback program. Revenue slipped to $98.35 billion from $99.03 billion a year earlier. The earnings fell short of the forecast of $1.96 a share by analysts polled by Thomson Financial, but revenue topped the prediction of $97.6 billion. Exxon Mobil shares followed the broader market downward and fell $4.56, or 4.9%, to $88.23. The shares, which have risen about 20% since the first of the year, have traded in a 52-week range of $63.87 to $93.62. Brian Youngberg, an energy analyst at Edward Jones in St. Louis, called Exxon Mobil's results disappointing and noted that its share price continued to benefit from an aggressive buyback strategy. Exxon Mobil's quarterly decline came on the same day European competitor Royal Dutch Shell said its net profit rose 18% in the second quarter to $8.67 billion. But Youngberg cautioned against reading too much into Exxon Mobil's outcome. "I think for now they're still the 800-pound gorilla," he said. "They have the strongest balance sheet. They have the most cash on hand. They're the big dog, and I think that will continue for the foreseeable future." Exxon Mobil Chairman and Chief Executive Rex Tillerson has said the company is spending the bulk of its profit on finding and producing new supplies of crude oil and natural gas, rather than alternatives, to meet the rising global demand for energy. The company has said it will invest in more than 20 new global projects in the next three years; its capital spending is forecast to be $20 billion a year through the end of the decade.


• Upstream news:


• Downstream news:

­- ExxonMobil Chemical Technology Licensing LLC and Thai Paraxylene Company Limited (Thai PX) today announced the successful start-up of the first licensed application in Thailand of ExxonMobil's new Olgone technology. The Olgone process implemented at Thai PX's Sriracha petrochemical complex removes olefinic contaminants from a heavy reformate feed, replacing a traditional clay treatment process. The mixed xylenes separated from the treated heavy reformate are converted to paraxylene as the final product. ­

- Beginning on August 3, 24 Porsche teams driving Porsche Cayenne sport utility vehicles filled with Mobil 1 viscosity grade OW-40 will compete in one of the world’s toughest automotive rally events. Covering 7,100 kilometers (4,412 miles) of forests, deserts, mountains and plains over 14 days, the drivers’ spirits, navigational skills and engines will be tested by a challenging route that will take them from Moscow to the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. ­

- ExxonMobil Chemical Company has introduced Vistalon™ EPM* rubber 722 which can cost effectively improve processability and cable flexibility in medium- and low-voltage wire and cable applications. In comparison with conventional EPDM, the metallocene-based product can provide processing improvements while exhibiting similar performance. Compared with cross-linked polyethylene (PE), it offers improved performance and excellent flexibility at low temperatures. And, it has improved electrical properties compared with metallocene EPDMs.

• Business/Finance news:

­- The ExxonMobil Green Team celebrates the completion of its 26th year in Dallas by presenting four homes built in the Joppa neighborhood of southeast Dallas to their new owners. Over the past eight weeks the Green Team, which is made up of 100 high school students from the Dallas area, constructed the four homes in conjunction with Dallas-Area Habitat for Humanity. During the ribbon cutting, the Green Team will present the four families with the keys to their new homes. ­

- Following a highly-competitive application process, the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), a major new non-profit designed to help America maintain its global leadership position in technological innovation, awarded its first round of grants for Advanced Placement training and incentive programs. ExxonMobil is key funder of organization to foster next generation of scientists and engineers.


• Upstream news:


• Downstream news:

- ExxonMobil Chemical Company announced that it has completed its detailed study of a second world-scale steam cracker complex in Singapore and made the final decision to proceed with construction. The project will be located at and integrated with its existing Singapore site, providing feedstock, operating and investment synergies with both the chemical plant and refinery.

- In a collaborative effort to enhance the performance of automatic transmissions that operate under the most severe conditions, ExxonMobil and Allison Transmission have teamed up to release a new synthetic transmission fluid that meets the demanding requirements of the TES-295 certification. Mobil Delvac Synthetic ATF, the new lubricant will be available in drums, pails and gallon jugs, and will replace the current severe-application ATF sold under the same name. The TES-295 specification is one of the industry's most stringent specifications for automatic transmission fluids.

- ExxonMobil announced the launch of its new website for its Mobil-branded industrial lubricants, www.mobilindustrial.com10.

- ExxonMobil Chemical announced it will invest in an expansion of its Rotterdam Aromatics Plant. The expansion will make this world-scale plant ExxonMobil’s largest paraxylene production facility, increasing its paraxylene production capacity by 25 percent and benzene production capacity by 20 percent.

- ExxonMobil Chemical Company has introduced a new family of fast cycling Santoprene™ thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV) grades which can be used to replace thermoset rubber and thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) in “thick, chunky” applications. The new grades can reduce processing time by 20 to 30 percent, improving productivity and enhancing profitability while maintaining performance. Typical “thick” components include plugs, bumpers, grommets, gap fillers, spacers and motor mounts in industrial and automotive applications. The fast cycling time of Santoprene TPV M500 generates a number of benefits for processors molding parts with cross sections more than 2mm thick. These benefits include: increased molding capacity with existing equipment and tooling; reduced tooling costs as fewer cavities are needed to produce the target volumes; reduced overall part cost by requiring less machinery time per part; and postponement of capital investment in new machinery because of increased production.

- Exxon Mobil said it would build a second chemicals factory in Singapore to meet rising demand in Asia. The plant will cost ''several billion dollars'' and will start up in 2011, Eva Ho, a spokeswoman based in Singapore, said. At the heart of the new plant is a cracker, which processes naphtha, an oil product, into ethylene, a raw material for making plastics. The installation is also expected to produce polyethylene and polypropylene.

• Business/Finance news:

- Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) announced it will award $1 million to the Society of Exploration Geophysicists Foundation in support of the organization's mission to prepare students from around the world for careers in geophysics. The company announced the pledge at the SEG Seventy-Seventh Annual Meeting in San Antonio on September 24.

- Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), urged Hispanic students to pursue opportunities in math and science and become part of a new generation of scientists and engineers required to keep the nation a technological and economic leader. Tillerson made the call to action in a speech to more than 1,000 middle and high school students, educators and business leaders at the University of Texas-Pan American's sixth annual HESTEC Week.

- The Kazakhstan Parliament took steps to grant the government the right to alter or cancel international energy contracts unilaterally should they run counter to the country’s interests. The lower house of Parliament — in which all elected seats belong to the Nur Otan Party of President Nursultan A. Nazarbayev — voted unanimously to amend an existing law on subsoil use, spelling out the steps the government could take if a contract failed to live up to its economic promise. The upper house is also dominated by the president’s party and is expected to follow suit. The law does not spell out what constitutes a national security threat and, if applied liberally, could be used to exact concessions from several natural resources contracts, particularly the one with the foreign oil consortium that is developing Kashagan, the country’s huge offshore oil field in the Caspian Sea. Kashagan — which is being developed by the Italian oil company Eni and Western multinational companies like Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell — has had cost overruns and delays, extending the projected start-up date by five years, to late 2010. Kazakh officials have already suspended the project on environmental grounds. They have threatened to impose fines of more than $10 billion and to take over operating duties with Eni. Negotiations are scheduled to end Oct. 22. The new legislation adds to investors’ worries, given previous Kazakh demands that existing contracts be altered.

- The Chevron Corporation will repurchase as much as $15 billion of its stock as record crude prices increase earnings. The three-year buyback program comes after stock repurchases of $5 billion each in 2005, 2006 and September 2007, Chevron, based in San Ramon, Calif., said. Chevron, Exxon Mobil and other oil companies are using buybacks to raise the value of their shares as gains in earnings outpace increases in spending. Exxon Mobil is buying back about $7 billion of its stock each quarter. ConocoPhillips said in July that it would spend $15 billion repurchasing shares through 2008. Buybacks tend to raise earnings per share and increase the value of equity in a company by reducing the amount of stock outstanding.

- The Exxon Valdez disaster is certainly the most notorious oil spill in the United States — a single, terrible accident that poured 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound 1989, causing grievous damage to Alaska’s waters and beyond. But it is not the largest. In terms of volume it cannot match the steady seepage of oil into Newtown Creek, the polluted waterway that separates Brooklyn from Queens. The Newtown Creek spill has not received anywhere near the response that followed the Valdez incident. The cleanup has been haphazard and ineffective, hampered by weak enforcement, and residents have been left in the dark about potential health effects. A report this month from the Environmental Protection Agency suggested that the Newtown spill may be twice as large as first believed — some 30 million gallons, nearly three times the size of the Alaska spill. It has polluted the 4-mile strip of waterway and some 55 residential and commercial acres around it, gathering in subsurface reservoirs, mixing with groundwater, creating toxic vapors and and seeping, slowly but inexorably, into the creek. One major concern is the reported leakage of chemical vapor into homes. The report was welcome, but far too long in coming. And it did not go far enough. Representatives Nydia Velazquez and Anthony Weiner, two members of Congress whose districts are affected, and who fought for the study, were understandably disappointed with the results. Both lawmakers are studying ways to speed the cleanup and assess health risks. The spill is believed to have originated 57 years ago, when oil leaked from refinery tanks owned by Standard Oil, a corporate predecessor to Exxon Mobil. It went unnoticed until a Coast Guard helicopter noticed a plume, which led to the discovery of a huge pool of oil at the creek’s bottom. Last month, the state attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, filed a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil, and warned several other companies they are also under scrutiny. Riverkeeper, an environmental group, filed its own lawsuit in 2004. Although ExxonMobil entered into a cleanup agreement with the State Department of Enviromental Conservation in 1990, the department has not been aggressive in enforcing its e terms. .


• Upstream news:

­- Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) announced that its subsidiary, Esso Exploration Angola (Block 15) Limited, has started production from the Marimba North project, designed to develop 80 million barrels of oil in approximately 3,900 feet (1,300 meters) of water more than 90 miles (145 kilometers) off the coast of Angola. The Marimba North project is a tie-back to the Kizomba A development and has come on stream ahead of schedule and within budget. Major components of the Marimba North project include subsea wells, a single drill center, 30 kilometers of flowlines and a unique riser system which ties the production flowline into the existing Kizomba A Tension Leg Platform. The Marimba North production and control facilities have been integrated with the existing Kizomba A development to effectively and cost efficiently utilize the existing field facilities. This milestone was achieved safely without any production impact to the Kizomba A operations. Marimba North is one of seven major start-ups for ExxonMobil in 2007, which will increase the company's production of oil and gas, and help meet the growing global demand for energy. The project will add about 40,000 barrels per day of peak production capacity to the existing Block 15 production, which includes the Xikomba, Kizomba A and Kizomba B developments. With the addition of Marimba North, Block 15 will produce about 540,000 barrels of oil per day with combined estimated recoverable resources of 2 billion barrels of oil. A fourth Block 15 development, the Kizomba C project, is planned to develop an additional 600 million barrels in the Mondo, Saxi and Batuque fields.

• Downstream news:

- Elevast™ polymer modifiers for the rubber industry were introduced by ExxonMobil Chemical. These new specialty hydrocarbon fluids may enable formulators to create innovative solutions for EPDM and polyolefin elastomer technical applications that require improved mechanical properties across a wide range of service temperatures. Available globally, Elevast™ polymer modifiers are engineered to efficiently upgrade key elastomer performance attributes and processing. They are also synergistic with many ingredients commonly used in elastomer compounds. Products manufactured with Elevast™ may benefit from enhanced performance and extended product life, thereby improving opportunities to differentiate products and lengthen operating periods. Elevast™ polymer modifiers should help formulators reduce costs by optimizing accelerator, coagent and curing agent treat levels.

- ExxonMobil Chemical Company announced that it has formed a new specialty compounds and composites business to focus on the development, production and marketing of engineered polyolefin compounds. The new business is organized to provide customers with efficient delivery of innovative products that fully utilize ExxonMobil's polymer and process development capabilities and global reach. The business portfolio includes a new line of ExxonMobil Performance Polyolefins for automotive applications. Products range from soft and flexible compounds to reinforced composites. This is made possible by ExxonMobil's extensive slate of polypropylene, polyethylene, and elastomer base polymers that can be produced globally and tailored for specialty compounds.

- ExxonMobil Aviation Lubricants introduced Mobilgrease 33, multi-purpose airframe grease that meets performance requirements from Boeing, Airbus, SAE and the U.S. military. The new product can be used in up to 95 percent of Boeing commercial airframe grease application points and in the majority of Airbus commercial airframe grease application points. Mobilgrease 33 was developed in response to demand from airlines for a single, general-purpose grease with excellent corrosion and wear resistance, and operability at very low temperatures. That, in turn, would allow the airlines to consolidate their inventory of greases, simplify maintenance, and reduce labor costs.

- ExxonMobil Chemical Company will introduce the latest innovation in applying metallocene polyethylene (mPE) technology during K2007 in Dusseldorf, Germany on October 24-31. New Exceed™ mPE HTC (high throughput, high clarity) technology delivers high throughput rates combined with outstanding optical properties and toughness. On conventional extrusion equipment, Exceed mPE-rich formulations can now achieve very high throughput rates while, on state-of-the-art machinery, unprecedented throughput rates of two kg/hour/mm die diameter are possible. The technology combines superb bubble stability with the toughness, sealing and optical properties of Exceed mPE.

• Business/Finance news:

- ExxonMobil Chemical will demonstrate its global leadership in innovative technology at the American Chemical Society Rubber Expo in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 16-18, 2007. The company will highlight how customers in the rubber and elastomer industries can benefit from ExxonMobil Chemical’s broad product portfolio, innovative technological and manufacturing expertise, and customer-focused service capabilities. ExxonMobil Chemical recently introduced what is possibly the biggest breakthrough in butyl process technology since the invention of halobutyl 60 years ago. Using this new, proprietary polymerization process, the technology allows ExxonMobil Chemical to have 20 percent more capacity without significant investment in refrigeration or reactors. The company is a major supplier to the tire industry, and this more energy-efficient technology will increase its butyl rubber capacity at existing plants. Additionally, ExxonMobil Chemical is constructing a facility to manufacture new specialty elastomer compounds that can improve the durability of tires, make them lighter weight by using up to 80 percent less raw material and help reduce fuel consumption. The plant in Pensacola, Fla., will manufacture a dynamically vulcanized alloy of proprietary Exxpro™ specialty elastomers and nylon. The new Exxpro-based alloy can be blown into film and used as the air barrier inner liner of tires providing improved air retention versus current commercial alternatives. Maintaining proper tire inflation reduces stress and irregular wear, potentially saving millions of gallons of gasoline every day. Tire inner liners made with the Exxpro-based alloy are as little as one-fifth the gauge of a conventional halobutyl inner liner providing significant weight savings, improved rolling resistance, excellent cold temperature performance and a 20 percent improvement in overall tire durability.

- Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) announced it is expanding its partnership with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation by sponsoring the first Hispanic Heritage Award for Math and Science, increasing the corporation's support for the Foundation to $1.2 million. Receiving the inaugural award, which will be presented during the 21st Hispanic Heritage Awards Gala tonight, is seismologist and science education advocate, Dr. Ines Cifuentes.

- As part of its ongoing commitment to science and math education, ExxonMobil will host a presentation by senior geologist Tabitha Hensley at the State Fair of Texas on October 11. The presentation will be held in conjunction with a performance of the ExxonMobil Let’s Go Science show, which is part of the overall State Fair programming sponsored by ExxonMobil at The Women’s Museum.

- Recognizing the role industrial designers play in material specification, ExxonMobil Chemical has launched a new website, www.materialexperience.com2, to connect designers to Santoprene™ thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs). The site officially will be launched at the “Connecting ’07 World Design Congress – Connecting to People and to Ideas,” being held October 17-20 in San Francisco.

- ExxonMobil has partnered with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers (SHPE) to provide educational outreach and programs to promote higher education at the State Fair of Texas, which runs Sept. 28-Oct. 21.

- ExxonMobil Chemical Company sees advantaged growth opportunities for the chemical industry in the Middle East. In remarks made at the Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference in Washington, D.C., ExxonMobil Chemical Company President Michael J. Dolan said that chemical industry investment can help the region generate the highest value out of its natural resources while building a thriving economy. Speaking at this year’s conference, themed Revisiting Arab-U.S. Strategic Relations, he highlighted the fact that these growth opportunities are contingent on a policy environment that welcomes international trade and investment, and one that fosters global competition and free enterprise. In addition, Dolan emphasized that chemical industry investment brings well paying long-term jobs and multiplier effects on local economies, thereby enhancing overall economic growth.

- ExxonMobil announced the donation of $5 million to the Ford's Theatre Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Campaign, a $40 million dollar capital campaign to support a multi-year major renovation and expansion of the 144-year old Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. ExxonMobil has supported artistic and educational programs at Ford's Theatre since 1978 to help honor and celebrate the legacy of President Abraham Lincoln. The $5 million contribution will be used to establish the ExxonMobil Lincoln Visitor Center, where future guests will begin their experience at Ford's Theatre. As visitors enter the 5,000-square-foot center adjacent to the current theatre, they will be welcomed with a brief orientation video before touring the historic site. The Center will also house a gift shop, as well as other audience amenities and will serve as the lobby space for theatrical performances at Ford's Theatre.

- ExxonMobil will release its third quarter 2007 earnings on Thursday, November 1. The news release will be issued over Business Wire.

- The Board of Directors of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) declared a cash dividend of 35 cents per share on the Common Stock, payable on December 10, 2007, to shareholders of record of Common Stock at the close of business on November 9, 2007. This fourth quarter dividend is at the same level as the dividend paid in the third quarter of 2007.

- Almost 19 years after the Exxon Valdez oil tanker spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound in Alaska, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear Exxon Mobil's challenge to the $2.5 billion in punitive damages that the company was ordered to pay to fishermen, landowners and businesses.

- Nearly 19 years after the tanker Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound in Alaska, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Exxon Mobil’s challenge to the $2.5 billion in punitive damages that the company was ordered to pay to thousands of fishermen, landowners and businesses. A jury in Federal District Court in Alaska had awarded $5 billion, which the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit cut in half in a decision issued last December. It was the biggest punitive damages award ever ordered by a federal appeals court, and was five times the economic damage of $500 million suffered by the class of 32,000 plaintiffs. Exxon argued in its appeal to the Supreme Court that given the nearly $3.5 billion the company had already paid in environmental cleanup costs, fines and settlements of private claims, the $2.5 billion was outside the boundary of constitutional due process that the court has drawn in recent decisions overturning other punitive damage awards. In accepting the appeal, however, the justices granted review only on three statutory questions focused on maritime law. As a result, while the case will be of interest to the shipping industry, the decision will shed little light on the constitutional framework that the Supreme Court intends to apply to the question of punitive damages. The case is scheduled to be argued in February and decided by early summer. To conclude that a damage award is so excessive as to violate due process, the court must first conclude that the Constitution’s due process guarantee includes a substantive as well as a merely procedural component. Justices Scalia and Thomas reject that theory of constitutional interpretation. It is plausible that Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito may reject it as well. In any event, this is not the case that will resolve that mystery. Exxon is arguing in its appeal that the $2.5 billion award violated various principles of maritime law, including the principle that a ship’s owner should not be subject to punitive damages for the conduct of the ship’s captain unless the offending conduct was directed by the owner. Exxon’s appeal asserts that the lower courts improperly subjected the company to “vicarious liability” for the negligence of the captain, Joseph J. Hazelwood, who set the Exxon Valdez on a course to strike the Bligh Reef. Lawyers for the plaintiffs told the justices that the verdict reflected the jury’s finding that Exxon had acted recklessly in giving Mr. Hazelwood responsibility despite knowing that he was a relapsed alcoholic. The plaintiffs’ lawyers said the damages judgment was “unexceptional,” and that the $2.5 billion punitive award “represents barely more than three weeks of Exxon’s current net profits.”


• Upstream news:

­- Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) said that its subsidiary, ExxonMobil Libya Limited, signed a heads of agreement to execute an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) with Libya's National Oil Corporation to initiate exploration activity offshore Libya in the Sirte Basin. The agreement includes four blocks located in Contract Area 21, approximately 110 miles off the Libyan coast. The contract area comprises 2.5 million acres and is situated in water depths ranging from approximately 5,400 feet to ultra deep areas of more than 8,700 feet. ExxonMobil Libya Limited committed to a five-year work program consisting of at least 4,000 kilometers of 2D seismic acquisition, 2,000 square-kilometers of 3D seismic, and one deepwater exploration well. The agreement also stipulates the payment of a signing fee, a training program to help upgrade the skills of nationals and other support for education in Libya.

• Downstream news:

- ExxonMobil Chemical Company broke ground on its second world-scale petrochemical project in Singapore. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was the Guest of Honour at the groundbreaking ceremony, which was held at the future site of the fully-integrated project on Jurong Island. When the project is completed, ExxonMobil’s largest owned and operated petrochemical complex and the Corporation's largest integrated chemical and refining site will be located in Singapore. Project start-up is expected in early 2011. The project will bring new jobs to Singapore and the region. It will result in approximately 400 new plant and business positions in Singapore and construction activity will require up to 10,000 people at its peak. The project will employ ExxonMobil’s latest proprietary technologies and will produce a range of high value products to meet growing demand. The technology to produce high value products, including VistamaxxTM specialty elastomers and ExceedTM polyethylene will be used for the first time by ExxonMobil in Asia. On September 5, ExxonMobil Chemical Company announced that it had completed its detailed study of a second petrochemical project in Singapore and made the final decision to proceed with construction.

- Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) announced that SeaRiver Maritime, Inc., its marine transportation affiliate in the U.S.A., and International Marine Transportation Limited (IMT), its U.K.-based marine affiliate, have been awarded the prestigious 2007 Sword of Honour from the British Safety Council. The Sword of Honour recognizes organizations that have implemented safety systems that are among the best in the world. Only organizations that achieve the maximum rating in the Council's Five Star Health and Safety Management System Audit are eligible to apply. SeaRiver and IMT, both multi-year recipients, were two of only 40 organizations selected this year worldwide.

- Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) announced it is partnering with QuestAir Technologies, Plug Power Inc. and Ben Gurion University on plans to commercialize an on-vehicle hydrogen production system for use in a fuel cell-powered lift truck application. Under the arrangements, Plug Power will seek to commercialize unique technologies developed by ExxonMobil, QuestAir Technologies and Ben Gurion University that take liquid fuels -- gasoline, diesel, ethanol or biodiesel -- and convert them into hydrogen onboard the vehicle where it will be used in a fuel cell power train.

- ExxonMobil Chemical Company has recently made a number of customer-focused investments for its specialty elastomers portfolio in the rapidly growing Asia Pacific region. Customers in mainland China can now buy the full portfolio of Santoprene™ thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs) from inventory stocked in China using local currency. Other ExxonMobil brands such as Vistamaxx™, Vistalon™ and Exact™ specialty elastomers are also available.

- As the owner of literally hundreds of unique vehicles, Jay Leno is not easily impressed by many of the new models on the market. But when he climbed onto the brand-new motorcycle presented to him by S&S Cycle and ExxonMobil, Leno was clearly thrilled. This motorcycle is the first to include the third-generation “performance cruiser” chassis/powertrain kit. The powertrain kit features the much anticipated X-Wedge™ engine and ExxonMobil’s flagship Mobil 1 motorcycle oil. A fitting pair, considering that each new S&S engine is not only end-of-line tested with Mobil 1, but also the initial fill for each completed engine.

- ExxonMobil Chemical and ExxonMobil's Japanese affiliate, Tonen Chemical, have developed new film technologies for lithium-ion batteries with the potential to improve the energy efficiency and affordability of next generation hybrid and electric vehicles. These new film technologies are expected to significantly enhance the power, safety and reliability of lithium-ion batteries, thereby helping speed the adoption of these smaller and lighter batteries into the next wave of lower-emission vehicles. Separator film is an integral part of battery system design and critical to overall performance. ExxonMobil Chemical’s new technology platform builds on twenty years experience in lithium-ion battery separators, applying advanced polymer and process technologies with flexibility to tailor products to battery manufacturer requirements. ExxonMobil Chemical will present the new film technologies at the 23rd Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exposition (EVS-23) in Anaheim, Calif. on December 2-5, 2007.

• Business/Finance news:

- A federal judge in Louisiana handed the oil industry a major legal victory saying the government had no authority to suspend billions of dollars’ worth of drilling incentives when energy prices were high. If upheld, the ruling could free companies from paying the government up to $60 billion in royalties for oil and gas produced in publicly owned waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The ruling, in a lawsuit brought by Kerr-McGee Oil and Gas Corporation, is not a final verdict. But the judge flatly rejected all of the government’s arguments, not only refusing to throw out the case but also agreeing with the oil company that the government had overstepped its authority.

- ExxonMobil's third quarter net income was $9,410 million ($1.70 per share), down 10% from the third quarter of 2006, while earnings per share were down 4% for the same period. The decrease reflected lower downstream and chemical margins partly offset by higher crude oil realizations. Net income of $28,950 million for the first nine months of 2007 was $300 million lower than the record first nine months of 2006. Earnings per share increased 6% during the same period, reflecting the positive impact of the continuing share purchase program. ExxonMobil continued to actively invest in the third quarter, spending $5.4 billion on capital and exploration projects, an increase of 8% over 2006. For the first nine months of 2007, spending on capital and exploration projects was $14.7 billion. The Corporation distributed a total of $8.9 billion to shareholders in the third quarter through dividends of $1.9 billion and share purchases to reduce shares outstanding of $7.0 billion.

- Exxon Mobil's profit fell 10 percent in the third quarter from a year ago as the company was hurt by lower refining and chemical margins. The profit was below expectations of Wall Street analysts, and the energy company's shares fell 3.79 percent.

- The Exxon Mobil Corporation said its profit fell 10 percent in the third quarter from a year ago as the company was hurt by lower refining and chemical margins. The profit was below expectations of Wall Street analysts, and the energy company’s shares fell 3.79 percent. Exxon Mobil said net income declined to $9.41 billion, or $1.70 a share, from $10.49 billion, or $1.77 a share, in the period a year earlier. Revenue at the company, which is based in Irving, Tex., rose 2.7 percent, to $102.34 billion from $99.59 billion in the third quarter of 2006. On average, analysts expected the company to earn $1.75 a share in the latest quarter on revenue of $112.97 billion. Shares of Exxon Mobil declined $3.49, to $88.50. Exxon Mobil, which produces 3 percent of the world’s oil, said earnings from its exploration and production arm fell about 3 percent in the most-recent period, to $6.29 billion from $6.49 billion a year ago. The drop largely reflects lower natural gas prices and higher operating costs, which were mostly offset by higher realized crude oil prices. Production on an oil-equivalent basis was down 2 percent from a year ago, a concern for a company that generates more than two-thirds of its earnings from oil and gas production. Like most of its competitors, Exxon Mobil said earnings were hurt by lower global refining and marketing margins. Earnings at its refining and marketing units were $2 billion in the period, off 27 percent from the $2.74 billion it earned a year ago. Oil prices have surged in recent months, and crude oil futures have hit record levels, but lower refining margins, increased costs and other factors have hindered third-quarter earnings at some of the world’s major oil companies. Refining margins, the difference between what refiners pay for oil and what they are paid for the products they make from it, have tightened substantially in recent months.

- Who holds the world’s oil? You might assume it’s in the hands of big private oil companies like ExxonMobil. But in fact, 77 percent of the world’s oil reserves are held by national oil companies with no private equity, and there are 13 state-owned oil companies with more reserves than ExxonMobil, the largest multinational oil company. The popular perception in the United States is that if leaders of oil countries nationalize their oil, they are bucking a global trend toward privatization. In reality, nationalized oil is the trend. And the percentage of oil controlled by state-owned companies is likely to continue rising, mainly because of the demographics of oil. Deposits are being exhausted in wealthy countries — the ones that exploited their oil first and generally have the most private oil — and are being found largely in developing countries, where oil tends to belong to the state. Nationalization is also a political trend in some regions, mainly Latin America, where the populist presidents of Bolivia and Ecuador have made it part of their discourse. They are led, of course, by Hugo Chávez of Venezuela. He has made private producers accept state control of their operations. When they wouldn’t, as in the case of ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips, he simply nationalized their holdings. Chávez has also asserted his control over Venezuela’s state oil company, which before him operated very much like a private, profit-driven enterprise.

- Some analysts expect PetroChina, which is making its debut on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, to soon surpass Exxon Mobil as the world's largest company.

- Guided by American legal advisers, the Iraqi government has canceled a controversial development contract with the Russian company Lukoil for a vast oil field in Iraq’s southern desert, freeing it up for potential international investment in the future. In response, Russian authorities have threatened to revoke a 2004 deal under the Paris Club of creditor nations to forgive $13 billion in Iraqi debt, a senior Iraqi official said. The field, West Qurna, has estimated reserves of 11 billion barrels, the equivalent of the worldwide proven oil reserves of Exxon Mobil, America’s largest oil company. Hussain al-Shahristani, the Iraqi oil minister, said in an interview that the field would be opened to new bidders, perhaps as early as next year. The contract, which had been signed and later canceled by the Saddam Hussein government, had been in legal limbo since the American invasion. But the Kremlin remained hopeful it could be salvaged until this September, when Mr. Shahristani traveled to Moscow to inform officials there that the decision to cancel it was final, he said. The Russian government, newly emboldened in international affairs by its expanding oil wealth, is still backing Lukoil’s claim and protesting what it considers selective enforcement of contracts in Iraq.

- Superheated markets in China drove the value of PetroChina, the state oil and gas company, above $1 trillion, giving it the highest market capitalization in corporate history and underscoring worries about a fast-growing stock bubble on the mainland. On PetroChina's first day of trading on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, it surpassed the combined capitalization of ExxonMobil and General Electric, the world's next two most valuable companies.

- The Alabama Supreme Court overturned a $3.5 billion punitive damages award against Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), validating the company's assertion that the state had improperly turned a contract dispute into a fraud action. The award resulted from a lawsuit regarding payment of Mobile Bay project royalties to the state. In 2003, a jury found that ExxonMobil committed fraud in the calculation of royalties it paid the state on production from its Mobile Bay natural gas wells. During oral arguments in February, ExxonMobil maintained that the evidence clearly showed that the state, for tactical reasons, had tried to turn a contract dispute into a fraud claim. Since production began at Mobile Bay, the company has paid to the state more than $1 billion in royalty and lease payments. ExxonMobil's total capital investment in Alabama currently exceeds $3 billion. The company employs more than 200 people and numerous contractors, and more than 300 retirees live in the state. Since 1995, ExxonMobil has contributed about $3.5 million to charitable, civic and educational organizations throughout Alabama. The U.S. Department of the Interior has honored ExxonMobil for excellence in mineral royalty and production reporting and compliance.

- Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) announced the Board of Directors has appointed Mr. A. J. (Alan) Kelly as president, ExxonMobil Lubricants & Petroleum Specialties Company, and elected him as a vice president of the corporation effective December 1, 2007, succeeding Mr. G. L. (Jerry) Kohlenberger, who will retire on January 31, 2008, after more than 33 years of service.

- Continued economic progress, population growth and the pursuit of improved living standards in the developing world will be the key driver of global energy demand over the next two decades, Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) said, releasing the corporation's Outlook for Energy: A View to 2030.

- ExxonMobil announced that it is expanding its longstanding relationship with Penske Racing by sponsoring three-time IndyCar Series Champion Sam Hornish Jr. when he moves to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2008.

- Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) Chairman and Chief Executive, Rex Tillerson, called for a renewed commitment by energy producing and consuming nations to open markets and international trade as the means to meet pressing global energy challenges. During his Special Address to the 20th World Energy Congress in Rome on November 12, Mr. Tillerson said the international energy industry had a long history of advancing technology to develop new energy supplies -- and to deliver these to the consumer via an efficient and open international marketplace.

- Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) announced it will host a workshop at the Corporate Council on Africa's 2007 U.S.-Africa Business Summit to highlight its development of national employees and suppliers and strategic community investments in Africa. ExxonMobil is a corporate sponsor of the Nov. 14-16, 2007, summit at the Cape Town, South Africa, Convention Center to promote opportunities for international trade and investment in Africa.

- ExxonMobil is pleased to announce that its employees and companies in the Metropolitan D.C. area have set a campaign record by raising over $2.24 million for non-profits during its recently concluded "Employees' Favorite Charities Campaign." Employees and ExxonMobil this year combined for an increase of 11.1% ($225,490) over the 2006 campaign to help support their favorite non-profit organizations. The ExxonMobil Employees' Favorite Charities Campaign provided employees with the opportunity to give to any charity with 100% of their contribution going to their designated charity. Exxon Mobil Corporation provided a corporate contribution that will be distributed to 207 local health and human services non-profit organizations based on aggregate donations from employees. (Alphabetical listing of these organizations follows.)

- Encouraging more women to pursue higher education and careers in math, science and engineering, ExxonMobil and Girls Incorporated of Metropolitan Dallas (Girls Inc.) hosted the ExxonMobil Family Math and Science Night on Tuesday, November 13 at the Girls Inc. Love Field Center. The entertainment-filled event, which was part of Girls Inc.’s Operation SMART (Science, Math And Relevant Technology) program, invited girls ages six through 11 and their families to participate in exciting math and science workshops and talk with ExxonMobil volunteers about their careers. In addition, teens in the Girls Inc. program led a “Women in Science” game show and “Parent Corners” provided additional activities and information for parents about preparing for college and helping their daughters explore these subjects. According to the National Science Foundation’s 2006 Science & Engineering Indicators report, college-educated women constitute only 26 percent of science and engineering occupations, even though they represent nearly half of the total U.S. workforce.

- Twelve U.S. universities will receive more than $25 million from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) to help increase the number of graduates with enhanced math and science teaching skills. NMSI is supported primarily by a $125-million grant from Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM). NMSI is awarding the grants, of up to $2.4 million each, to the universities to start programs modeled after UTeach, a highly successful teacher preparation program at The University of Texas at Austin. The first recipients, Florida State University and the University of Florida, were announced at a ceremony, and additional grants will be announced in the days ahead.


• Upstream news:


• Downstream news:

- ExxonMobil Chemical showcased a new film technology platform for hybrid and electric vehicle batteries at the 23rd Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exposition (EVS-23) in Anaheim, Calif. on December 2-5, 2007. ExxonMobil Chemical and ExxonMobil’s Japanese affiliate, Tonen Chemical, have developed new battery separator films that are expected to significantly enhance the power, safety and reliability of lithium-ion batteries used in hybrid and electric vehicles. As a result, the new film technologies have the potential to improve the energy efficiency and affordability of the next wave of lower-emission vehicles. Building off the new technology platform, ExxonMobil Chemical can adapt to emerging market needs by providing tailored film grades to meet specific battery maker or original equipment manufacturer requirements. The new battery separator films are produced using a proprietary wet, bi-orientation manufacturing process that results in fine, highly uniform pores. The films are co-extruded using specially tailored, high heat-resistant polymers. By leveraging ExxonMobil Chemical’s technology and polymer expertise to meet very specific hybrid and electric vehicle requirements, the new battery separator films exhibit a unique combination of properties including enhanced permeability, higher meltdown temperature and melt integrity, while maintaining quick shutdown performance and mechanical strength. The higher meltdown temperature significantly increases the film’s thermal safety margin.

- Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) announced plans to seek regulatory approval for BlueOcean Energy, a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal that will create a gateway to global supplies of clean-burning natural gas to help meet the growing energy needs of New Jersey and New York. The project will have the capacity to supply about 1.2 billion cubic feet of clean-burning natural gas per day, enough to meet the needs of more than five million residential consumers. Anchored approximately 20 miles off the coast of New Jersey, the more than $1 billion terminal will be far from shore and away from shipping lanes, ports and recreational areas.

- ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (EMRE) announced that its proprietary lube catalyst technology will be used by Calumet Shreveport Lubricants and Waxes LLC ("Calumet") at its Shreveport, Louisiana facility. Calumet is converting and expanding its existing fuels and lubes dewaxing process into a higher capacity lube dewaxing operation, enabling it to produce 8,600 barrels per calendar day of high quality base stocks. The expanded lube train will use ExxonMobil's proprietary lube catalyst technology, including MSDWTM catalytic dewaxing and MAXSATTM hydrofinishing catalysts, and the corresponding reactor design. The expansion is proceeding on an accelerated 18-month schedule with start-up expected the first quarter of 2008. ExxonMobil has extensive experience in operations, performance maintenance and optimization, and more than 25 years of commercial experience using catalytically dewaxed base oils in a full range of finished lubricants.

- ExxonMobil Chemical recently introduced a new design tool that can help engineers predict the long-term behavior of Santoprene™ thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs). The new “compression stress relaxation database” helps predict how Santoprene TPVs perform initially and then at any time during the expected life of the part. This enables engineers to create more effective designs, improving part reliability while reducing material use and costs. Without this type of data, engineers have typically applied arbitrary safety factors to their designs to account for diminishing performance caused by stress relaxation over time. Because these safety factors are estimated, parts are often over-engineered to ensure they do not fail. This increases material use and costs. The database provides design engineers with more confidence as it helps them to ensure that the part will meet the specified performance requirements of the application.

- ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (EMRE) announced that its MTG technology for converting methanol to gasoline has been selected by DKRW Advanced Fuels (DKRW) as part of DKRW’s coal to liquids (CTL) project in Medicine Bow, WY. Medicine Bow Fuel and Power LLC will be the owner and operator of the CTL project. This approximate 15,000 barrel per calendar day unit will be based on commercially proven MTG technology which incorporates improvements since the technology was originally commercialized by ExxonMobil 20 years ago in New Zealand. MTG converts crude methanol directly to low sulfur, low benzene gasoline that can be sold directly or blended with conventional refinery gasoline. Although the original application of the MTG technology processed methanol from natural gas, the same technology can be used for methanol from other sources such as coal, petcoke or biomass. The Medicine Bow project will gasify the coal, convert the synthetic gas to methanol, and then convert the methanol to gasoline via the MTG process. Conversion of coal to gasoline through gasification and methanol conversion is one way to significantly reduce the potential pollutants from coal, including the reduction of SOx emissions and the capture of CO2.

- The Films Business of ExxonMobil Chemical announced the successful start up of its upgraded specialty oriented polypropylene (OPP) film production line in LaGrange, Georgia. The multimillion dollar investment in upgraded production processes at the LaGrange facility has significantly increased the company's North American capacity for multi-layer OPP films. The upgraded line is running at full design capacity in its first full week of production and will provide the company greater flexibility to meet customer expectations for a secure and undisrupted supply of specialty OPP films from its global manufacturing base.

- Exxon Mobil wants to build a $1 billion floating terminal for liquefied natural gas about 20 miles off the coast of New Jersey.

- Exxon Mobil said that it would like to build a $1 billion floating terminal for liquefied natural gas about 20 miles off the coast of New Jersey, a move meant to deflect safety and environmental concerns about proximity to populated areas. The company plans to anchor a boatlike structure in the Atlantic Ocean to process natural gas imported by cargo ships from faraway suppliers in the Middle East, Europe and Africa. The terminal, if approved, would connect through an underwater pipeline to an existing network that feeds New York and New Jersey, two of the top consumer markets in North America.Exxon’s project is the latest of several dozen gas terminals that have been proposed in recent years in the United States. Energy specialists say more natural gas supplies will be needed to meet the growth in consumption and to make up for an expected drop in imports from Canada. Exxon’s project is the third offshore terminal proposed for the greater New York region in recent years. Exxon said its plant anchored off New Jersey, about 30 miles south of Long Island, would not be visible from shore and would stay clear of shipping lanes and recreational areas. The company said it would soon start the lengthy process of seeking regulatory approval from state and federal agencies, as well as the Coast Guard. Because of the complex regulatory procedure, the plant is not expected to begin processing until the middle of the next decade. Natural gas shipped by tanker from abroad in a supercold liquid form accounts for about 3 percent of domestic consumption, but the government estimates that share could rise to 17 percent by 2030. At terminals like those proposed near New York, liquefied natural gas is processed into the gas form, which is used to heat homes, power electric plants and fuel many industrial activities. Natural gas accounts for about a quarter of the nation’s energy supplies. Imports of liquefied natural gas are expected to jump 35 percent this year compared with last. But the growth is likely to slow next year because of delays with new terminals, according to the federal Energy Information Administration. Exxon’s new project would receive two cargo ships a week. The gas would be carried by underwater pipeline that would come ashore at Raritan Bay in New Jersey.

• Business/Finance news:

- ExxonMobil announced that the corporation, its employees and retirees raised more than $1.4 million for the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. During the 2007 United Way annual campaign, ExxonMobil employees also devoted a day to volunteerism by participating in the United Way Day of Caring. On September 13, more than 150 employees and retirees assisted 11 local nonprofit agencies funded by the United Way. Volunteers worked on landscaping and minor construction projects, painted, read books to children and assisted with other needs of the nonprofit agencies. Each year, ExxonMobil has one of the largest single-corporation volunteer groups participating in Day of Caring.

- ExxonMobil announced that its total corporate, employee and retiree contributions to the United Way in the Houston and Baytown areas reached a record total of $16.6 million. The announcement was made during a celebration at NCI Ripley House Community Center where checks for $10.6 million and $1.4 million were presented to the United Way of Greater Houston and United Way of Baytown, respectively. The funds will assist those benefiting from services provided by the nonprofit and its affiliated agencies. The company contributed an additional $4.6 million through ExxonMobil Volunteer Involvement Program grants earned by employee and retiree volunteers at various United Way affiliated agencies as well as through gifts-in-kind donations, corporate loaned executives and administrative personnel to assist with the heavy work load at already burdened social service agencies.

- Kazakhstan wants to raise its stake or receive compensation for cost overruns and delays in the gigantic Kashagan offshore field, the largest oil find in more than three decades, the country’s president said. The president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev, speaking after a meeting with foreign investors in the capital, Astana, also said that he was not seeking to replace Eni of Italy as project operator — deflating speculation that Kazakhstan wanted to assign the role to its state company, KazMunaiGaz, or to another company, possibly Exxon Mobil. The Kazakh authorities initially raised objections in July after Kashagan’s start-up expenses and overall costs nearly doubled, to a reported $137 billion from $57 billion, and the date for first production was pushed back to 2010, from 2005.Since then, the government and the companies involved have been negotiating a possible settlement.The Reuters news agency quoted Mr. Nazarbayev as saying that there are different ways to settle the matter — by giving Kazakhstan either a sum of money or a bigger stake in the project. The Kazakh president struck a conciliatory note, in a possible attempt to dispel fears that his country is exhibiting a growing nationalism. The talks have been extended twice and are now in a fifth month. A new deadline is now Dec. 20. The Kashagan consortium includes Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips, Total of France and Inpex Holdings of Japan. With some 13 billion barrels of estimated recoverable reserves, it is crucial to the West’s aspirations to develop oil suppliers beyond OPEC. Kazakh officials announced that all consortium members except Exxon Mobil had agreed to reduce their stake so that the share controlled by KazMunaiGaz could rise to 18.52 percent, from 8.3 percent, giving it the same share as the main consortium partners — Eni, Exxon Mobil, Shell and Total. Industry experts say that Eni was originally chosen to lead the project as a compromise between Exxon and Shell, which both lobbied heavily to become the operator. Reports from within the consortium now indicate that the partners are dissatisfied with Eni. The Kashagan field is considered one of the world’s most logistically and environmentally challenging projects. It is in a remote, shallow-water corner of the Caspian Sea, and contains high amounts of hydrogen sulfide, a deadly gas.

- For the eighth year, the ExxonMobil Educational Alliance Program has provided grants to local schools across the nation. This year, that tradition will continue. ExxonMobil recognizes the need for education professionals to engage today’s tech-savvy students. Therefore, the ExxonMobil Educational Alliance Program has awarded 3,500 $500 grants totaling $1.75 million to K-12 educational institutions in 40 states and the District of Columbia.

- Central Asia is a potent source of oil and natural gas, and Russia and the United States are competing for the region's energy exports. Russia is investing heavily, posing a challenge to Western companies like Exxon Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips.

- Highly educated and well connected, former Federal Security Service officers include among their number Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin. And Mr. Putin has seeded former colleagues throughout government and appointed them to boards of state-run corporations. For big Western companies, the prevalence of former Federal Security Service agents in Russian business is raising questions of ethics and due diligence, as a growing number — including Boeing, Exxon Mobil and Renault — have business transactions with Russian companies linked to former spies or members of the political police. Boeing and Exxon declined to comment on their companies’ due-diligence criteria for deals with former K.G.B. officials. A spokeswoman for Renault said her company was “not concerned” with the matter.

Go to Oil Company News