EXXONMOBIL’S US$20B SPREE
Trump hails oil giant as ‘special company’ following programme to create 45,000 jobs
EXXON Mobil Corp announced a US$20 billion (RM88.94 billion) building spree in the heart of the United States chemical and refining industry, a programme the company says will create 45,000 jobs.
President Donald Trump quickly tweeted his support, calling the oil producer a “special company”.
The only problem? Monday’s announcement just gave a name to a series of investments the company began making as far back as 2013, before the collapse in oil prices.
Chief executive officer (CEO) Darren Woods dubbed the pro- gramme “Growing the Gulf”, part of an effort to boost energy exports from abundant natural gas and oil supplies on the US Gulf Coast.
It’s the latest effort by a corporation to proactively present itself as a job creator to a president who has made the issue a centrepiece of his campaign and his less than two-month tenure in office. Trump described ExxonMobil as a “true American success story”.
The president followed up with a trademark tweet: “We are already winning again, America!” and a short video celebrating the announcement, which he said was in part because of his administration’s policies.
All the jobs would be located along the Gulf Coast, and many would pay an average of US$100,000 a year, said Woods at CERAWeek, a huge annual industry conference, here.
The investments will continue at least through 2022.
Woods was making only his second public appearance as CEO since January, when he succeeded Rex Tillerson, who left the company to become Trump’s secretary of state.
ExxonMobil follows other US giants such as Ford Motor Co, Intel Corp, General Motors Co and Wal-Mart Stores Inc responding to Trump’s call to eschew overseas investments and focus on domestic developments.
After decades of locating refineries and chemical plants close to raw materials and end markets in the Middle East and East Asia, ExxonMobil was committed to steering construction dollars to its home country, Woods said.
The plan involves 11 projects in the Gulf Coast region.
Woods’ comments followed the company’s disclosure last week that it was shifting half its worldwide drilling budget to US shale fields next year.