EXXON Mobil Corp will increase capital spending nearly 4 per cent this year to US$28 billion in part as the largest US oil company seeks to increase its share of the global market for natural gas. Exxon, with huge liquefied natural gas projects in Qatar and its planned deal to buy US gas producer XTO Energy Inc in a US$28 billion, all-stock deal, has been placing big bets on future demand for natural gas and that spending will continue.
Natural gas is expected 'to contribute more significantly to the energy mix over the coming decades', CEO Rex Tillerson told analysts at a presentation at the New York Stock Exchange. A large part of the increase is expected to come from power demand, the company said.
Exxon, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, also told analysts that it had completed initial tests at Iraq's West Qurna field, where it won a 60 per cent stake in the field that is estimated to have 8.7 billion barrels of reserves. Mr Tillerson declined to discuss potential volumes from the field, but said initial planning was going well. Security incidents, while still a challenge, seemed to be lessening in severity, he said.