History Of The Exxon Mobil Corporation Management Essay

Oil and gas industry has already become one of the leading industries in the world. The company that has significant role and makes vast amount of profit from energy industry is Exxon Mobil Corporation. History. Exxon Mobil Corporation or also known as Exxon Mobil is an American international petroleum and natural gas company, which was created in 1999. Company has an extensive history for about 125 years. It has had history since 1870, the year when John D. Rockefeller and his partners established Standard Oil Company. This company was very successful for thirty years and by the year 1878, it was controlling 95% of US the oil industry (Wikipedia, Exxon Mobil, 2010). Nevertheless, with public protest at a culmination in 1911, the Supreme Court of the United States decided to divide one big company into 34 small companies. Two of these companies were Jersey Standard and Socony, which finally became Exxon and Mobil. In 1998, these companies signed an agreement, which cost $73.7 billion, in order to merge and create a new company called Exxon Mobil Corporation. The merger was completed on November 30, 1999 and this corporation became the largest company on the planet (Wikinvest, Stock-XOM, 2010)

Products. Exxon Mobil produces fuels, lubricants and petrochemicals worldwide. Company operates in three main categories such as upstream, downstream and chemicals.

Upstream operations are important part of a company, which are involved in the exploration along with production of oil and natural gas. Exxon Mobil’s upstream sector earned $17 billion in 2009, which means 88.1% of 2009 earnings (Exxon Mobil, Annual report, 2009 )

Downstream sector is involved in the refining as well as marketing of oil and natural gas. It makes 9.3% of profit with $1.8 billion in 2009 year. (Exxon Mobil, Annual report, 2009)

Chemicals division uses oil to produce and sell commodity petrochemicals and earned $2.3 billion, which made 11.9% of profit in 2009. (Exxon Mobil, Annual report, 2009 )

Exxon Mobil Corporation operates with three brands such as Exxon, Esso and Mobil. All these brands are well known around the world, because there are 28,000 Exxon’s and Esso’s service stations in 118 countries. As for Mobil brand, it can be example of motor oil Mobil 1, which is also popular in Uzbekistan. (Corporate Watch, 2008)

Market share. According to Global 2000 list of Forbes, the company has been ranked #4 between largest public companies in the world (Forbes, 2010). In addition, it is #1 in oil and gas industry in United States, which produces about 3% of the world’s oil and 2% of the world’ energy sources(Exxon Mobil, 2010). Exxon Mobil’s net income was $19.3 billion and its total revenue was $310.58 billion in 2009 (Exxon Mobil, Annual report, p 2009). In contrast with previous years it is much less, as in 2008 the net income of company was $45.2 billion and total revenue exceeded $459.6 billion (Exxon Mobil, Annual report, p 2009). It can be said that economic crisis influenced company’s profit significantly, but in spite of this challenges, company continuing working hard and improving the quality of its products. The results of hard work can be seen from the average of daily production that was 170 thousand barrels of oil and 149 million cubic feet of sales gas in 2009 (Exxon Mobil, Annual report, p 2009). In third quarter of 2010, Exxon Mobil reported that earnings during quarter were $7,350 million, up 55% in comparison with the third quarter in 2009 (Exxon Mobil, 3rd quarter report, p 2010).

Financial Data (USD millions) [] 







Total revenue

358 955

365 467

390 328

459 579

301 500

Net income

36 130

39 500

40 610

45 220

19 280

Total assets

208 335

219 015

242 082

228 052

233 323

Total debt

7 991

8 347

9 566

9 425

9 605

Company size. The size of the company can be seen from the number of employees and sectors around the world. Exxon Mobil has approximately 80,700 employees in 77 countries (Exxon Mobil, Annual report, 2010) and also it has 15 operating divisions such as:

ExxonMobil Exploration Company

ExxonMobil Development Company

ExxonMobil Production Company

ExxonMobil Gas and Power Marketing Company

ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company

ExxonMobil Refining and Supply Company

SeaRiver Maritime

ExxonMobil Fuels Marketing Company

ExxonMobil Lubricants & Specialties Company

ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company

ExxonMobil Chemical Company

ExxonMobil Information Technology

Global Real Estate and Facilities

Global Procurement

Business Support Centers (Wikipedia, Exxon Mobil, 2010)

Company Location. The main center of operations of the company is located at Irving in Texas. The upstream and chemical divisions of Exxon Mobil are at Houston in Texas, while the downstream division is placed in Fairfax in Virginia (Exxon Mobil, 2010).

Effect of Economic Environment

Economic growth. Economic growth is one the main factors that can affect company’s revenue and expenditure. Exxon Mobil Corporation is very influenced by economic conditions in United States. In the third quarter of 2010, economic conditions in USA were slightly high than it was in the second quarter. The Gross Domestic Product rate expended at 2.5 percent and this lead to increasing of product demand of Exxon Mobil (Trading Economics, 2010). Due to higher demand for oil, earnings of company in this district were $7.4 billion, up 55% from third quarter of 2009 (Exxon Mobil Financial and Operating Report, 2009).

Income level of population. Population is very important aspect of every industry and its income level have an effect on product prices. For instance, median income of population in the United States for 2009 year was $49,777 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010) and this changed prices for crude oil. In 2009, price for per barrel of oil was about $45.88 (Oil Prices, 2010). However, due to significant changes in economy in 2010 year crude oil price averaged roughly $78 per barrel (Oil prices, 2010)

Interest rate. The standard interest rate in the United States was 0.25 percent for 2010 and rate decisions were divided between the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and the Federal Open Market Committee (Trading economics, 2010). For Exxon Mobil Corporation global oil demand is expected to increase by almost 35% until 2030, which will make huge profits for the company (Exxon Mobil, 2010)

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Inflation. Inflation rate is also one of the factors that can actively have an effect on product prices. The last report about inflation rate in United States was made in October of 2010 and the rate was 1.2 percent (Trading Economics, 2010). As it can be seen from the table above, the inflation rate is decreasing in United States in 2010 year. These fluctuations can slightly change the price for gasoline. As an example we can look into the history, during The First World War price for gasoline was $0.25 per gallon (Trading Economics, 2010). However, due to inflation rate in 2001 the price of gasoline has averaged about $2.00 per gallon in inflation-adjusted dollars over the last 80 years (Exxon Mobil, 2009). As inflation rate will increasing in the future and also prices for energy will increase, too.


Fiscal Policy. One of the government’s influences to company is a fiscal policy and this factor has very big influence on company’s revenue. From 2005 through 2009, Exxon Mobil Corporation taxes for United States were $63 billion. In 2009, Exxon Mobil’s tax rate was 47 percent and its tax expenses amounted to $81 billion around the world. It is more than four times of company’s earnings. (Exxon Mobil, Taxes, 2010)


Exchange rates. Exchange rates help company to trade worldwide. The appreciation and depreciation of currency can be either positive or negative. It depends on economics conditions in particular country. For example, Exxon Mobil’s effects of exchange rate changes on cash were $520 million in 2009 (Wikinvest, Exxon, 2009). However, corporation makes limited use of currency exchange contracts, futures contracts, product forwards and swaps to mitigate the impact of changes in currency values and product prices.

Effect of Industry Environment

Petroleum industry. There are about 200 oil companies around the world and totally all of them produced 72.26 million barrels of oil every day in 2009 (Petro Strategies, Inc, 2010). A total product shipment of petroleum annually is about $219 billion, which confirms that the petroleum industry is one of the largest industries. (Petro Strategies, 2010)

Exxon Mobil Corporation is one the six major public oil companies in the world. Its competitors are:

Chevron Corporation

Royal Dutch Shell

British Petroleum

Total S.A.


Chevron. The second largest oil and gas company, behind Exxon Mobil in United States is Chevron Corporation. Chevron Corporation or Chevron was known as Standard Oil of California and was established amid the antitrust break up of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company in 1911(Wikinvest, Chevron, 2010). It was included on the “Seven Sister” list, which was leading the world energy industry in the early 20th century. Chevron operates in 180 countries and has network of gas stations such as Chevron, Texaco and Caltex. The number of employees in 2009 year was approximately 67,000 people worldwide (Wikipedia, Chevron, 2010).

In the third quarter of 2010, the earning of company was $3.77 billion, or $1.87 per share. In comparison the earnings of Chevron are two times less than earnings of Exxon Mobil in third quarter which was $7.4 billion (Wikinvest, Chevron, 2010).

Royal Dutch Shell. Royal Dutch Shell or commonly known as Shell, is one of the major private sector energy companies in the world. Shell operates in renewable sources of energy including wind solar energy in more than 140 countries. In 2009, Shell’s profitability was effected by weak demand, high inventory levels and low margins, as a result the profit of company was $9.8 billion for full year and this result was 69% down than 2008 earnings (Wikinvest, Shell, 2010). The headquarters of company located in The Hague, Netherlands and registered offices at the Shell Centre in London, United Kingdom (Wikinvest, Shell, 2010).

British Petroleum. According to Forbes Global 2000 list the BP’s rank through public companies by their revenue is 10th with $16.68 billion (Forbes, 2010). BP operates in more than 80 countries and produces 3.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. It employed 80,300 people in 2009(BP, Annual report, 2009). The major division of BP is BP America and located in Houston, Texas. Company has six main brands such as:






Wild Bean Café

The headquarters of company located in London, United Kingdom (BP, 2010)

Total S.A. Total S.A. or formerly known as Total Fina S.A. was formed after World War 1, when Raymond Poincaré the French Prime Minister rejected the idea being partner with Royal Dutch Shell and gave new idea about creating new French oil company (Wikipedia, Total S.A., 2010). The total assets of company in 2009 were €127.8 billion and €8.447 billion of profit (Wikinvest, Total S.A., 2010). However, in current year Total S.A. is working very hardly. For example, in the third quarter of 2010 the company’s earnings were $3.6 billion, in comparison with previous year’s third quarter the earnings were up 47% (Wikinvest, Total S.A., 2010). Moreover, in 2010 company is employeing over 96,000 people and operating in more than 130 countries (Wikipedia, Total S.A., 2010).

For the third quarter of 2010, Total’s net income was $3.6 billion, a 47% increase from the same period in 2009 (Wikinvest, Total S.A., 2010).

ConocoPhilips. The ConocoPhilips also as Exxon Mobil was formed by merge of two companies such as Conoco Inc. and the Philips Petroleum Company on August 30, 2002. It works in all sectors of energy industry and also owns 20% share of Russian oil company LUKOIL (Wikinvest, ConocoPhilips, 2010). Company produces its products under the brands as

Philips 66, 76 – Unites States

Conoco – United States

Jet – Europe and Asia Pacific region

ProJet – Europe and Asia Pacific region (Wikinvest, ConocoPhilips, 2010)

As of 2009, the company had of proved 8.36 billion barrels of oil equivalent reserves and its revenue was $246.182 billion. In the third quarter of 2010, the company increased its profit in contrast with previous year’s same period up to 8% and earned $3 billion (Wikinvest, ConocoPhilips, 2010)

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Competitive Advantage of Exxon Mobil Corporation

Exxon Mobil Corporation has a number of advantages, which make it leader.

Exxon Mobil operates in the major areas of petroleum such as North America, Europe, West Africa, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific.

Exxon Mobil has the largest Exploration and Production portfolio, which makes easy to company to choose investments and political risks

Exxon Mobil has technological advances which allow developing resources as tight gas, natural gas and heavy oil. (Wikinvest, Exxon, 2010)

Competitive Advantage of Competitors

Chevron Corporation’s progressive and various workforces are major advantages of company which allow surviving in marketplace.(Wikinvest, Chevron,2010)

Royal Dutch Shell is a leading in industry because of its high performance and cleaner fuels. (Shell, Annual report, 2009)

Providing pure ethanoic acid with low cost and approachable service for customers are the major advantages of British Petroleum Company. (BP, Annual report, 2010)

Total S.A. operates with many western oil companies and has the largest reserves in Africa and the Middle East. In addition, Total S.A. is one of the few companies which have operations in Iran. (Wikinvest, Total S.A., 2010)

Competitive advantage of ConocoPhilips lies on its heavier and more acidic crude oil and on providing clean product yields. (Conoco Philips, 2010)

Effect of Political and Legal Environment

Political Environment

As Exxon Mobil operates in about 118 countries, there are many restrictions and advantages in law that can effect on company.

Restrictions. Some of the countries, where Exxon Mobil Corporation has its stations, limit energy sources or can situate company in unavailable places from resources. Moreover, some countries restrict the import or export of products based on point of source. Hence, these situations make difficulties for company and this leads to declining of demand and increasing of product prices. For the solution, the company should be ready for every change in law or should avoid countries with regulations that have huge impact on business. (Exxon Mobil, Politic, 2010)

Advantages. A number of advantages, which help company to work, are very little. For example, in some countries, there are low taxes for oil industry, which can lead to enormous earnings of Exxon Mobil. Also, governments can provide financial support to search alternative energy sources and nowadays, through sponsorship of The Global Climate and Energy Project at Stanford University Exxon Mobil making research into hydrogen fuel cells and fuel-producing algae. (Exxon Mobil, Politic, 2010)

Legal Environment

Business competition. As Exxon Mobil is a United States company there are certain countries which prohibits the doing business for U.S. companies. As an example we can take the Islamic republic of Iran. Iran has large reserves of oil, but in this country there are no Exxon Mobil stations and this leads to competitive advantage for non-U.S. companies such as Total S.A. Total S.A. is an only company from six supermajors which has stations in Iran. (Wikinvest, Total S.A., 2010)

Labor Market. Exxon Mobil makes every possible comfort to its employees. As it employs more than 80,000 people, all employees are governed by company’s Standards of Business Conduct. According to Standards of Business Conduct, it is strictly prohibited to discriminate employees, suppliers or customer in any area of Exxon Mobil Corporation. Furthermore, all employees are provided with a competitive package by company, which is based on the legal regulations and culture of other countries. (Exxon Mobil, Annual report, 2010)

Consumer needs. Nowadays, all of suppliers are trying to produce most needed products in market they operate. In contrast, United States use much more gasoline than Europe or Asia. Hence, the producer in U.S. can produce and sell its products twice more than others. In addition, it is very difficult to satisfy consumer needs, because of high demand for premium gasoline. Nevertheless, Exxon Mobil is trying to do fuel better and employ expert chemical engineers, in order to satisfy all needs of consumers and increase demand for its products. (Exxon Mobil, Annual report, 2009)

Environmental Legislation

Environmental legislation is one of the most significant aspects of every oil company in the world. As oil companies use natural energy resources to produce their products, simultaneously they pollute environment. For example, fossil fuel is very efficient energy, but it is heavy polluter and also, there are number of sources which cause greenhouse gas. If company will try to make these damages less, it should increase costs for energy. So, to avoid such complex situations, every year company pays for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 2009, Exxon Mobil’s payments for environmental liabilities were $504 million. (Exxon Mobil, Annual report, 2009)

Effect of Socio-cultural environment

Culture is an important part of nation or country. Every company which operates internationally should respect traditions of its partners and should avoid cultural problems which could face during its operations. One of the greatest affect of Exxon Mobil Corporation for United States nation was Exxon Valdez Oil spill in 1989. (Exxon Mobil, 2010)

The Exxon Valdez tanker was built by National Steel and Shipbuilding Company in San Diego, California. It was 301 meters long, 50 meters wide and 26 meters depths. The tankers could transfer up to 1.48 million barrels of oil with the speed 30 km/h and also it was located in Alaska. However, the Exxon Valdez faced huge oil spill on 24th of March, 1989 and this event was listed as a 54th largest oil spill in history. (Wikinvest, Valdez, 2010)

The tragic accident damaged much historical and archeological significance, that were important to population and also for future generation of country. However, after cleaning up oil spill, the most of places were not renewable. There was impact on health of subpopulation of Alaska. It caused many disasters such as radiation syndrome, stochastic and genetic health effects. (George Pararas-Carayannis, 2007)

Exxon Valdez had also influenced on social environment of people. As oil spill began at the beginning of fishing season, it caused impact on ecosystem of city. Major of earnings for population were coming from fishing. As a result, people were threatened by the spill and they experienced high level of depression during accident. The situation with Exxon Valdez tanker was big experience for Alaskan Natives. Exxon made great effort to clean up oil spill and it cost for company $4.3 billion (George Pararas-Carayannis, 2007). Despite efforts 250,000 barrels of oil were lost. In 1992, with help of U.S. Coast Guard the spill was completed (Exxon Mobil, Valdez, 2010).

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Nowadays, Exxon Mobil Corporation created exact strategies to prevent oil spills. For example, he has:

Modern modified tankers

Drug testing programs

Trainings for pilots and captains

In addition, if problems occur company has thousand of employees, fast working response centers at many locations around the world. The Corporation is operating very well and making great job to prevent any social or cultural accidents which could cause many damages and loses for company. (Exxon Mobil, Corporate Citizenship report, 2010)

Effect of Ethical Environment

Every company should follow its ethical standards with attitude to stakeholders. Doing unethical business with them can significantly effect on company’s reputation. In order to be successful Exxon Mobil Corporation has its Code of Ethics, which help to work with stakeholders.

Exxon Mobil’s stakeholders are:






Government. Exxon Mobil has exploration and production operations in 39 countries. Its unethical attitude to government can be shown with pursuing the country’s laws and regulations. As Exxon Mobil is one of the main polluters of environment, also its unethical approach to government can be environmental issues. However, Exxon Mobil has specific strategies to avoid unethical business. For instance, we can take the carbon capture and storage. In April 2009, company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Australian government and become member of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute. It means that company values the Australian government’s worries about environment and wants to continue partnership with Australia. (Exxon Mobil, Stakeholders, 2010)

Community. Unethical behavior against the community can be displayed in delivering irrelevant information about operations of company. Companies should avoid losing trust of community. As Exxon Mobil Corporation understands the role of community and every year it organizes sessions for communities, NGOs, government officials, in order to provide better understanding about company’s operations and investments. (Exxon Mobil, Stakeholders, 2010)

Shareholders. People who did some investment into company are shareholders. In my opinion, unethical decision alongside shareholders could lead to losing of money. Therefore, it would be better constantly informing investors about company’s operations. In 2009, Exxon Mobil held 40 meetings with institutional investors and investment groups to discuss political contributions, company’s risks and other issues which are connected with Exxon Mobil Corporation. (Exxon Mobil, Stakeholders, 2010)

Customers. Millions of customers purchase fuels at Exxon Mobil’s stations everyday. Customer and ethics in oil industry are connected with customer’s demand for quality of fuels and also with its price. If company sells premium fuels which worth its price, customers’ needs will be satisfied and which can lead to good profit and high demand. In addition, to understand the future demand of customer, Exxon Mobil is creating a line of advanced oils and greases that will improve productivity and promote longer equipment life. (Exxon Mobil, Stakeholders, 2010)

Employees. Bad work conditions, violation and low salary can be listed as an example of unethical behavior against employees. However, for company which violates to its employees this can lead to many problems such as job strikes, losing employees. Avoiding such problems, Exxon Mobil has its Standards of Business Conduct. According to standards, company should provide good condition for employees and also employees should be in ethical behavior into their activities and laws of corporation. Moreover, company annually requires employees to read Standards of Business Conduct and provides detailed trainings about ethics policy to all employees. (Exxon Mobil, Stakeholders, 2010)

Effect of Technological Environment

Being up-to-date with technology helps every business in many ways. As for oil and gas industry technological advancements lead to finding new sources which are located in very challenging environments such as Arctic regions, deepwater, heavy oil sands. Exxon Mobil Corporation has established fundamental research to enlarge advantaged technologies for all its businesses.

Upstream technology. Exxon Mobil has the latest version of 3-D technology. To find remaining hydrocarbon reserves Exxon Mobil uses advances in 3-D seismic imaging, which provides more accurate representations of structure in complex areas. As a result, with the help of seismic mapping employees of company could see exact images of land structure and they would be able to reduce risk in exploration and production operations.

In the future, Exxon Mobil is going to set new technology called Controlled Freeze Zone (CFZ) which has a prospective to permit economic development of gas resources challenged by carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2C). (Exxon Mobil, Annual report, 2009)

Downstream technology. As diesel demand is projected to increase from 2009 to 2030 worldwide, Exxon Mobil Corporation is working with new technologies which are aimed to improve the flexibility of refinery and which can to response to rapidly increase of product demand. (Exxon Mobil, Annual report, 2009)

Chemical technology. The developing in chemical technology gives great opportunity for a competitive advantage of Exxon Mobil. The company thoroughly improves using advanced processes and catalyst technologies to give efficient energy and increased asset utilization. (Exxon Mobil, Annual report, 2009)

Moreover, Exxon Mobil is a partner with Apple Company and on November of 2010, Exxon Mobil introduced “Exxon Mobil Fuel Finder” iPhone and iPod touch applications which helps to drivers worldwide to find locations of Exxon or Esso stations. In the future, it would be better for Exxon Mobil constantly update its technologies (Exxon Mobil, 2010). For example, it can replace its 3-D seismic imaging to 4-D, as it was said that Exxon Mobil uses 3-D seismic imaging in order to get images of land structure.

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