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exxon mobil

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    There was some speculation that Exxon was sniffing around the NW Palawan basin last year. Could this be the JV partner that KIK/NDO have been working on?

    March 5 2008
    Exxon Mobil announces spending boost

    The company plans to invest between $25 billion and $30 billion a year through 2012 to find more oil.

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. said Wednesday it expects to invest between $25 billion and $30 billion on capital and exploration projects this year, up from about $21 billion in 2007, though the increase reflects the rising costs of finding new supplies of oil and natural gas.

    The Irving, Texas-based oil company, which topped its own record for the biggest U.S. corporate profit in 2007, said it expects to maintain that level of spending through at least 2012, as it tries to tap new reserves in all corners of the globe.

    "Our financial strength and technical expertise allows us to pursue all opportunities that satisfy our disciplined investment criteria," chairman and chief executive Rex Tillerson said during a presentation to Wall Street analysts in New York.

    Certainly, no one would question the company's financial might.

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    A month ago, Exxon Mobil posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company - $40.6 billion - as it benefited from historic crude prices at year's end. It also set a U.S. record for the biggest quarterly profit, posting net income of $11.7 billion for the final three months of 2007, beating its own mark of $10.71 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005.

    Its shares rose 14 cents to $86.83 in midday trading Wednesday. They've traded in a range of $69.52 to $95.27 in the past year.

    Exxon Mobil said it started seven major projects in 2007. It has another 12 on tap in 2008, and seven startups slated for the 2009-2010 timeframe.

    Tillerson said the company expects to make upstream, or exploration and production investments in mature regions such as North America, Australia and the North Sea, as well as growth areas like the Middle East, Russia and West Africa.

    Last month, Exxon Mobil, which produces about 3 percent of the world's oil, said it added 1.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent to its proved reserves in 2007, extending a positive trend of replacing more barrels than it produced. The added reserves totaled 101 percent of its 2007 output - its lowest tally in five years - though the result included the loss of its assets in Venezuela.

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    Reserve replacements represent the ratio of reserves found over production for a given period. Analysts typically say a company's reserve replacements should average more than 100 percent over a three to five-year period to indicate growth.

    Proved reserves are a key asset of oil companies.

    Yet finding and gaining access to new reservoirs is an increasingly difficult task, taking oil companies into deeper waters and rugged, more intricate terrain. What's more, national oil companies, like those in Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, control almost 90 percent of global oil reserves.

    On the investor side, Exxon Mobil (XOM, Fortune 500) said it has distributed $36 billion in dividends over the past five years, and it increased per-share dividends by 40 percent during that period.

    It also continued an aggressive stock buyback initiative last year, repurchasing $28 billion worth of shares, up from about $5 billion in 2003.

    Through such programs and other measures, the company said its market capitalization increased from $234 billion at the end of 2002 to $504 billion at the end of last year.
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