Exxon’s no good, very bad week

General view of Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia May 21, 2018.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about that fly. 

Speaking of surprise appearances at the VP debate Wednesday, fracking made a show — Mike Pence repeatedly said that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris want to ban the technology. Harris said they wouldn’t. 

Fracking is a super common method of extracting oil and natural gas in the US, which involves some engineering magic like sideways drilling.  

The technology turned America into a fossil-fuel powerhouse, starting around 2009. It also led to a surge in plastics and chemicals.

As I recently learned, pretty much everything that’s not made of wood or cotton is made with chemicals derived from oil and gas, known as petrochemicals. Laundry detergent, diapers, antifreeze, hand sanitizer … these chemicals are everywhere! 

And Big Oil wants to keep it that way. Let’s start there. 

This obscure $400-billion industry might just save Big Oil

As we’ve written, clean energy sources like wind and hydro power will eventually dominate the global electricity mix, and EVs are set to replace gas-guzzling cars. That alone doesn’t spell the end of big oil companies. 

Reality check: Most of the world’s largest fossil-fuel producers including Exxon and Shell have invested in a wide range of products to stay relevant including petrochemicals — which have grown into a gigantic industry. 

  Goldman Sachs agrees to pay over $2 billion to the US Justice Department over Malaysia's 1MDB scandal, report says

The US market was worth almost $400 billion last year, according to the American Chemistry Council. 

Defined: Petrochemicals are chemicals derived from petroleum and natural gas. 

By quantity, the vast majority of chemicals out there — the stuff in disinfectants, detergents, everything in The Container Store — are, in fact, petrochemicals. 
My point being: The reach of this industry, backed by Big Oil, is almost unfathomable. 

A lifeline: As oil giants stare down a future with fewer gas-powered cars, they’re looking to petrochemicals to stay afloat. 

By 2050, petrochemicals are projected to overtake the transportation sector as the largest driver of growth in oil demand, according to the International Energy Agency.
Top oil companies are adjusting accordingly, as we reported this week. 

Read our full story here.

Exxon’s no good, very bad week 

I mean, it’s not like any of us had a good week. But Exxon’s was particularly challenged. 

On Monday, the company announced that it was cutting up to 1,600 jobs across Europe, as part of a global restructuring. We got our hands on four documents that detail which divisions will shrink.
Also on Monday, Bloomberg News reported that Exxon had plans to ramp up its carbon emissions by 17% by 2025, as its rivals looked to cut their carbon budgets. (Exxon said the story is inaccurate.) 
On Tuesday, Exxon CEO Darren Woods sent a letter to staff, …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Finance


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