North America’s Historic Energy Transformation Calls for Collaboration on Energy Policies, Says Rex Tillerson

ExxonMobil CEO Addresses IHS CERAWEEK Executive Conference in Houston

  • New technologies and sources of energy have reshaped energy markets allowing North America to enhance its energy security.
  • Natural gas demand expected to increase by 60 percent by 2040.
  • Government and industry need to work together on policies that provide access and accountability and encourage the investment and innovation that are critical for the future development of energy resources.

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Technological advances in the development of energy sources such as shale natural gas, Canadian oil sands and deepwater resources have the potential to truly transform global energy markets, Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), said today.

ExxonMobil predicts that global demand for energy will grow by 30 percent by 2030, with demand for natural gas increasing by 60 percent and deepwater production doubling. Developing these resources to their potential in the U.S. can only be achieved through thoughtful energy policies that create a pathway to enhanced energy security and industry commitment to promote safe development of these resources, Tillerson remarked in a speech to the IHS CERAWEEK Executive Conference.

“The transformation unfolding in North America represents a potentially decisive shift in the history of energy. New technologies and innovative techniques developed by the men and women of our industry have taken sources of energy once labeled ‘unconventional,’ ‘uneconomic’ and ‘inaccessible,’ and made them conventional, economic and environmentally responsible,” Tillerson said.

Tillerson pointed to the critical role of shale natural gas in supplying future energy needs, saying that advances in horizontal directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology have unlocked the potential for recovering enough natural gas from shale to power the U.S. economy for a century.

In 2010 alone, shale gas development supported 600,000 jobs and contributed more than $76 billion to U.S. gross domestic product.

In Canada, the energy industry is developing oil sands that are providing access to one of the world’s largest known reserves of energy – approximately 170 billion recoverable barrels, or the energy equivalent to fueling today’s North American vehicle fleet for about 35 years. Tillerson pointed to ExxonMobil’s Kearl project, which will produce oil sands with the same emissions as many other oil sources, as one example of a project to reduce the environmental footprint of oil sands development.

To fully realize the benefits of North America’s energy endowment, Tillerson called on governments to enact thoughtful energy policies that open up access to the nation’s resources and allow industry to make the long-term investments needed to meet growing demand. In turn, he said industry has a responsibility to maintain a relentless focus on operations integrity, safety and technological innovation.

“When we understand the unique roles that government and industry play in supporting energy production, we can pursue a pathway forward to greater energy security. A fundamental recognition of our roles helps us put in place policies that provide access and accountability, create a climate that welcomes investment and innovation, and ensure government and industry build on the lessons of how to work together,” Tillerson said.

“In the decades ahead, the successful development of conventional, unconventional and alternative supplies of energy will depend on more than just geologic conditions and technological innovations,” Tillerson said. “Success will depend on the private and public sector fulfilling their respective responsibilities – and, where they can, working together to build a climate of investment and discovery in new technologies.”

About ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil, the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and natural gas company, is committed to producing the energy needed for economic progress in a safe, reliable and environmentally responsible manner.

The company uses technology and innovation to help meet the world’s growing energy needs, investing approximately $1 billion annually on research and technology development. ExxonMobil holds an industry-leading inventory of resources, is the largest refiner and marketer of petroleum products, and its chemical company is one of the largest in the world.

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Source: Exxon Mobil Corporation