Exxon Mobil Corp
) was directed by a jury ruling to pay $236 million to New
Hampshire to clean groundwater contamination caused by the
gasoline additive Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE). Exxon Mobil
added MTBE to gasoline to reduce smog.
The ghost of MTBE contamination seems to haunt Exxon Mobil big
time. Earlier, in 2009, the energy behemoth paid $105 million in
fine to the New York City Water District.
However, the company was able to score one brownie point by
reducing the original jury verdict of an $816 million fine to
$236 million or 28.9% of the original. The reduced quantum of
damages reflect Exxon's market share of gasoline sold in the
state between 1988 and 2005.
Exxon Mobil is the world's largest publicly traded oil company,
engaged in oil and natural gas exploration and production,
petroleum products refining and marketing, chemicals manufacture,
and other energy-related businesses. Approximately 83% of Exxon
Mobil's earnings come from its operations outside the U.S.
Exxon Mobil is one of the world's best-run integrated oil company
given its track record of superior returns on capital employed.
The energy giant has long been a core holding for investors
seeking a defensive name with continued dividend growth. Exxon
Mobil is fairly active in its investment program. The company
plans to spend about $185 billion over the next five years, up
29% from the last five-year period.
The capital expenditure covers as many as 21 important oil and
gas projects currently under the anvil and are estimated to
accumulate over 1 million net oil-equivalent barrels per day by
2016. It includes the Kearl Oil Sands development project in
Canada, four in West Africa and Kashagan Phase 1 in
Exxon is also engaged in a large liquefied natural gas project
in Papua New Guinea, which is expected to begin deliveries in
2014. It will further unearth more oil from the development of
Hebron oil field offshore the Canadian province of Newfoundland
and Labrador. The development will help in recovering over 700
million barrels of oil and the platform is expected to yield its
first oil towards the end of 2017.
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Exxon Mobil holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, the Zacks
Ranked #2 stocks of
Continental Resources, Inc.
Chesapeake Energy Corp
EPL Oil & Gas, Inc.
) are expected to outperform the market over the next few