ExxonMobil recently announced estimated 2016 earnings of $7.8 billion, which marks a 51-percent decrease from $16.2 billion in 2015. In addition to an asset impairment charge of nearly $2 billion related to dry gas operations with undeveloped acreage in the Rocky Mountains region, the earnings reflect lower commodity prices and refining margins.
"ExxonMobil demonstrated solid operating performance in 2016," said Darren W. Woods, ExxonMobil's chairman and chief executive officer. "Financial results for the year were negatively impacted by the prolonged downturn in commodity prices and the impairment charge. The company's continued focus on fundamentals and our ability to leverage an attractive global portfolio through our integrated business ensures we are well-positioned to generate long-term shareholder value."
ExxonMobil completed five major upstream projects during the year in Australia, Kazakhstan and the United States, adding 250,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day of working interest production capacity. The company made three important new discoveries in Guyana, Nigeria and Papua New Guinea, and is growing its exploration portfolio, capturing 16 exploration blocks in 2016 with three additional awards to be finalized in 2017.
In the downstream segment, ExxonMobil completed a 20,000-barrel-per-day crude expansion project at its refinery in Beaumont, Texas, which increased the site's flexibility to process domestic light crude oils. ExxonMobil is also advancing projects to increase production of higher-value fuels and lubricants, including investments at refineries in Belgium and the Netherlands.
The company's chemical business continued to capitalize on its liquids and gas-cracking capabilities, capturing increased specialty and commodity product demand. ExxonMobil is selectively investing to extend its advantage with projects that expand production capacity for ethylene and related products around the world.
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