1. ExxonMobil Aims for Global Dominance
- ExxonMobil’s $60 billion Pioneer acquisition has become a defining moment for CEO Darren Woods as his first 5-year tenure was marred by activist investors, missed production targets, and COVID-19.
- In Exxon’s new 2027 strategy, the oil major pledges to pump more than 4.4 million b/d of oil in four years, adding 700,000 b/d from now on and increasing its lead ahead of the world’s publicly traded companies.
- The US major has also moved into carbon capture and storage with its $4.9 billion acquisition of Denbury, as well as made great strides in direct lithium extraction at its Arkansas plant.
- Even with oil prices edging lower, ExxonMobil is expected to remain the most profitable Western major in Q4, with analysts expecting Q4 net profits to trend sideways from the previous quarter around $9 billion.
2. Defying Slackening Upstream Activity, US Natural Gas Production Soars
- Natural gas production from the US lower-48 states reached an all-time high of 105.1 BCf per day last month, building on the previous record rate of 102.5 BCf per day in October.
- As shale oil production becomes gassier, the Permian basin and Appalachia’s Marcellus shale play have led the US market in incremental growth, despite an ongoing trend in lower drilling activity.
- US natural gas rigs continue to remain subdued (Baker Hughes indicates only 116 rigs currently active),…