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Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM): Taking on the World’s Toughest Energy Challenges

Energy is crucial to economic growth, development and social welfare. Both modern cities and small communities in developing countries depend on reliable access to energy for long-term economic and social progress. Currently the world uses about 245 million barrels per day of oil-equivalent energy. By 2030 the demand is expected to be 35 percent greater, even with gains in energy efficiency.

Meeting this demand consistently in order to sustain global growth is a major priority of Exxon Mobil. Today, the world’s energy challenge is multidimensional involving a unique combination of factors, including science, technology, economics and politics. The company is optimistic about their ability to achieve their goals but is also realistic about the level of investment, technology and long-term commitment required.

The company’s operations include exploring and producing crude oil and natural gas, as well as manufacturing petroleum products. Exxon Mobil also transports and sells crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products. Their holdings include 10.8 million net acres in the U.S., 8 million acres in Canada/South America, 3.1 million acres in Europe, 0.7 million acres in Africa, 2.4 million acres in Australia and 0.1 million acres in Russia.

Over the past five years, Exxon has invested over $1.5 billion on activities that improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Initiatives include technologies that improve automobile efficiency, such as tire liners that keep tires inflated longer, advanced fuel-economy engine oil and light-weight automobile plastics. The company is also researching enhanced engine efficiency and has developed an improved lithium battery separator film for hybrid electric cars. Exxon also sponsors breakthrough research into ways to improve solar energy, biofuels and carbon capture and storage.

In most recent news, Exxon announced that it has formed an alliance with a leading biotech company, Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI), to research and develop next generation biofuels from photosynthetic algae. It is hoped that the biofuels produced will be compatible with today’s gasoline and diesel fuels. If research and development milestones are met, the company anticipates spending more than $600 million on the project.

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