Exxon to keep investing, hiring despite downturn
April 8, 2009
The head of Exxon Mobil Corp. said the company is not planning to shrink its staff or cut back on investment because of the global economic downturn, according to the Associated Press. Chairman and Chief Executive Rex Tillerson said the world''s largest publicly traded oil company expects to spend $129 billion on new projects over the next five years. That figure "spans across the entire scope" of the Irving, Texas-based company''s business, including oil and gas exploration as well as refining, he said. Last month, Tillerson said Exxon Mobil''s capital spending would hit $29 billion this year, up from the $26.1 billion it spent in 2008. Years of high oil prices and a strategy of hoarding cash have left Exxon better positioned to weather the recession than many U.S. companies and some industry peers. The energy giant posted a record profit last year of $45.2 billion and had $31 billion in cash at the end of 2008. Tillerson appeared to rule out layoffs, at least for now. Tillerson was in Qatar for the official opening of the Qatargas 2 liquefied natural gas project. The initiative, thought to cost more than $13 billion, involves the largest production equipment and tanker vessels of their kind. Qatargas 2 includes two production lines known as trains. The fossil fuel is cooled at facilities in the port of Ras Laffan to turn it into a liquid for easier transport. It is then converted back into gas at its destination. Exxon Mobil owns 30 percent of one train and 18.3 percent of another.