Listen to this article
ExxonMobil, the world’s largest listed oil company, has said the investments it is making or could make in chemicals and liquefied natural gas plants and refineries on the Gulf of Mexico coast of the US could be worth $20bn over the ten years from 2013-22.
Speaking at the CERAWeek conference in Houston, Darren Woods, the chief executive of Exxon who took over at the start of the year, said the projects were intended to take advantage of low-cost resources released by the shale revolution.
He added that they would be “export machines, generating products that fast growing nations need to support larger populations with higher standards of living.”
The company said its planned projects, some of which have not yet been given a final investment decision, could create about 47,000 jobs: 35,000 in construction of the facilities, and 12,000 in direct and indirect employment at the plants.
The planned projects have all been announced before, but this is the first time that Exxon has aggregated the amount of spending and disclosed the total number of jobs that could be created.
Low-cost gas and oil produced from previously uncommercial shale reserves have created a boom in oil refining, liquefied natural gas and petrochemical investment in the US, particularly along the Gulf of Mexico coast.
Cal Dooley, president of the American Chemistry Council, an industry group, said Exxon’s investment programme “shows the decisive role of American energy in spurring a U.S. manufacturing renaissance, with the chemistry industry helping to lead the way.”
He added: “Plentiful supplies of energy and feedstock have made the U.S. chemical industry one of the world’s lowest-cost producers.”
President Donald Trump issued a statement saying, “This is exactly the kind of investment, economic development and job creation that will help put Americans back to work… This is a true American success story.”
Per a statement from the White House, Mr Woods added: “Investments of this scale require a pro-growth approach and a stable regulatory environment and we appreciate the President’s commitment to both.”