Exxon board members consider abandoning some oil, gas projects: report
ExxonMobil’s board of directors is reportedly debating whether to abandon some major oil and gas projects as the company reviews its five-year spending plan.
Sources familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal that members on the board have expressed concerns about a $30 billion natural gas development in Mozambique and multibillion-dollar gas project in Vietnam.
The Journal noted that while oil and gas prices are currently at a multi-year high, investments like Exxon has abroad take several years to produce additional supplies and even more years to produce a return on investment.
The concerns have come out not long after a third climate advocate won a seat on Exxon’s board of directors. Private equity investor Alexander Karsner won the seat in June. Karsner runs the Engine No. 1 investment firm, which has called on Exxon to make more investments into clean energy.
Exxon is currently facing pressure from investors to hold back on fossil fuel investments in order to lessen carbon emissions and to return more cash to their shareholders, the Journal reported.
The board is set to vote on the five-year spending plan at the end of this month, though the Journal’s sources said it was unclear whether the projects in Mozambique and Vietnam are part of this review.
“Any depiction of the board’s discussions as being less than constructive in tone or substance is wrong,” Exxon spokesperson Casey Norton told the Journal, saying the oil company does not discuss internal board deliberations.
When reached for a comment on the Journal’s report, Norton told The Hill, “The tone and substance of the article are wrong.”
Updated at 4:04 p.m.