A Free-Market Energy Blog

Fossil Future at ExxonMobil (no ‘net zero’ here)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 13, 2022

“We are investing in big, new projects…. And if you go forward into 2027, we are actually growing [oil and gas] production.” (Darren Woods, CEO, ExxonMobil)

The climate alarmists/forced energy transformationists have a real intellectual and political debate on their hands. Mugged by reality, the activists must confront the failure of “green” alternatives in meeting world demand for affordable, reliable, taxpayer-neutral, plentiful energy.

The Green Energy Crisis has upended the “energy transition” and “Net Zero” future. And bullied corporations now have Main Street and Wall Street on their side. Jamie Dimon at J. P. Morgan Chase was clear on the need for a fossil-fuel future. So are the companies (Vanguard, etc.) that are bailing on the ESG climate movement.

Consider ExxonMobil. “Exxon Knows” should replace ExxonKnew, for ExxonMobil knows that consumer demand and profits will be with the mineral energies, not dilute, intermittent, government-dependent wind and solar. Compare this approach with Shell, which finds itself in legal trouble with its embrace of Net Zero, the subject of tomorrow’s post.


ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods said much in a recent interview in the Wall Street Journal (December 12, 2022). Yes, there was political correctness (“wind, solar and electric vehicles … have an important role to play…”) and rent-seeking (“carbon capture and storage is recognized as an important technology in addressing emissions, we are focusing on it”). But a number of quotation points make it clear that oil and gas is the future–and a bigger future than today.

Forget Net Zero, which is now a greenwashing term, not a relevant destination. And don’t forget that DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm and IEA head Fatih Birol green-lighted the oil and gas go-ahead this year!

Some quotations follow from an interview with Woods by WSJ news editor Elena Cherney, titled “The CEO of Exxon Mobil on Ukraine, shortages and peak oil demand.” (“The 2022 Energy Shock” in WSJ’s print edition.)

Ideology vs. Energy Reality

“What we were seeing even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a policy approach dominated by ideology. Aspiration and hope collide with the realities of a global energy system that’s complicated, multidimensional and critically important to economic growth and prosperity.”

“… policy makers are stepping back and looking at managing the threat of climate change and reducing emissions in a way that more effectively addresses things like national security. Affordability, reliability, availability of energy also are all critically important. And hopefully they come up with a better approach.”

“Institutions and businesses around the world have to move from the business of propaganda to the business of math, and actually do the work to understand how we’re going to strike that balance.”

Oil and Gas for the Masses

“And if you go forward into 2027, we are actually growing [oil and gas] production.”

“In the downstream, which is our refining business, we are bringing on in the first quarter of next year the largest refinery expansion in the U.S. in over a decade. We’re also investing aggressively in our chemical business.”

“We are investing in big, new projects. We’ve got a very aggressive plan in the Permian Basin, the unconventional space. We’re aggressively developing resources in Guyana. We have a project in Brazil, we have LNG projects that we’re advancing in Papua New Guinea. And so the portfolio of upstream products is pretty prolific.”

“As long as oil and gas is going to be needed, as long as diesel and petroleum products are going to be needed, we want to be the ones best positioned to provide that with the lowest emissions possible.”

Solar and Wind: Not Interested

“Solar and wind is power generation. We’re not in the power-generation business. As a company
we don’t bring a lot to it versus what we can do in other areas.”

” … wind, solar and electric vehicles [are] … certainly not sufficient. So we’re beginning to see a recognition that a much broader set of solutions is needed, and that a critical player in that space will be our industry.”

Peak Demand Not

“We’re decades out from [peak oil and gas]. When people think about oil and gas demand, they think of the developed world and the efficiencies that you see. But you can’t forget about the developing world.”

“There are large parts of the world with lots of people that have to come up that development curve,
and it’s going to require energy. And until you get more affordable and reliable sources of alternative
energies, oil and gas will play a key role.”

Public Policy

“More work needs to be done to encourage U.S. production, which is the lowest-emission source of production and one of the most scrutinized and transparent markets in the world for oil and gas production. So if the world needs oil and gas, who better to produce it?”

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