Oil giant Exxon Mobil has announced that its marketing and refining divisions will be merged. This is part of the plans by the chief executive officer of the company, Darren Woods, to overhaul the refining operations of Exxon Mobil in the face of volatile natural gas and oil prices. According to the oil major, merging the two divisions will take place next year in Q1.
The merged entity will be known as ExxonMobil Fuels & Lubricants Co and its president will be Bryan Milton who is currently the ExxonMobil Fuels, Lubricants & Specialties Marketing Co’s president. Milton joined Exxon Mobil in 1986.
Investing in Egypt
The merger of the two divisions coincides with reports indicating that the energy giant is considering venturing into the offshore gas and oil sector of Egypt following the success of rivals in the country. This will also assist Exxon Mobil in boosting its reserves.
According to Tarek El Molla, Egypt’s Petroleum Minister, Exxon Mobil officials recently held discussions with his ministry and the talks revolved around gas and oil production investments. At the moment Exon Mobil doesn’t have any upstream operations in the North African country.
“We have been discussing with them, visiting them. They’ve visited us… We are exploring all opportunities for having more and further upstreamers in Egypt. I would be happy to have them with us,” said Molla during an OPEC meeting held in Vienna, Austria.
Per industry sources the energy giant is interested in exploring the offshore basin in the eastern Mediterranean region. In the course of this month Italy’s Eni is slated to start producing gas in a field located in the Mediterranean and which is considered one of the largest discoveries in the last decade. Other opportunities that Exxon Mobil is considering are in the areas around the Red Sea. In this region Egypt is making preparation for the tendering of exploration blocks.
Last year Egypt’s reserves of gas totaled close to two trillion cubic meters while the oil reserves totaled 3.5 billion barrels. Besides Eni other oil multinationals with upstream operations in Egypt include Royal Dutch Shell and BP. The country’s offshore gas production is mostly for local uses but Egypt intends to export the commodity in the future.
Just like rivals, Exxon Mobil has cut spending following a fall in the prices of oil. This has seen a reduction in the oil giant’s reserves making it necessary to add to the stocks.