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Exxon To Disclose The Real Risk Of Climate Change


According to a new filing by Exxon to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Exxon said that its board “has reconsidered the proposal requesting a report on impacts of climate change policies” by major shareholders at its annual meeting earlier this year. The company will disclose more information regarding “energy demand sensitivities, implications of two degree Celsius scenarios, and positioning for a lower-carbon future,” the company’s filing stated.

The pressure from activists and shareholders to disclose more information related to Exxon’s vulnerability to climate change are the latest in a series of headwinds over the past few years, Bloomberg writes. The oil supermajor has also had to contend with its inability to find and replace all of the oil and gas reserves that it produces in a given year, and for several years in a row, that reserve-replacement ratio has been under 100 percent, an indication of a declining reserve base.

Also, Exxon’s total oil and gas production has actually declined in four of the last five years—Bloomberg calculates that Exxon averaged 4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) in the first nine months of 2017, down from 4.51 mb/d in 2011. Part of that is because of Exxon’s size—a depletion rate that leads to the erosion of several percentage points from a rather large number is still a large number.

On top of that, Exxon’s shale activity is only beginning to ramp up, having spent billions to acquire acreage earlier this year. Bloomberg says that these obstacles now have Exxon trading at a discount relative to other energy companies in the S&P 500 Index, the first time that has occurred in 20 years.

But the climate disclosures open up a new area that might raise some concern for investors. In May 2017, shareholders passed a resolution calling on the company to disclose more details regarding financial risks to climate change. The resolution passed despite Exxon’s fierce opposition.

There are several areas of concern for shareholders. First is the vulnerability of shareholder value to climate regulation. That is, should the U.S. or any other government put prices on carbon, or engage in a regulatory crackdown that forces certain oil and gas reserves to remain in the ground unproduced, it would amount to a serious destruction of shareholder value.

That concern has been floating around for quite a while, but more recently, another threat to Exxon’s shareholders comes from the possibility of peak oil demand. Exxon’s executives have continuously waived away any concern about the long-term health of oil demand, but a growing number of executives at large oil companies (see: Royal Dutch Shell) are predicting a peak in oil demand in the next decade or two.

If oil demand peaks, it would almost certainly lead to a peak and decline in prices. Or, at the very least, a hard ceiling on how high prices could possibly go. Again, this would mean investing in Exxon is not nearly as attractive as everyone currently believes.

That poor investment case is why shareholders want to know the full extent of the risks. And the allegations from several states attorney generals that Exxon knows and understands these risks very well is the basis for an investigation into the oil major.

Now, Exxon seems to have succumbed to the pressure, and has finally agreed to offer up more information, with details set to be released “in the near future,” Exxon’s SEC filing read.

Meanwhile, Exxon has, at least verbally, said that it supports the goals laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement. Exxon’s CEO has offered support for biofuels, low-emissions fuels, carbon capture and other technologies as a means to achieve emissions reductions.

Still, analysts say the oil major has vulnerabilities. “Acquisitions have not worked for them in the past, not necessarily disasters but usually they haven’t played out,” said Brian Youngberg, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co., according to Bloomberg. “Maybe Exxon needs to consider a little more broader strategic moves on the asset side.” He suggested Exxon follows in the footsteps of companies like Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron, who sold off underperforming assets. Edward Jones & Co. has a “hold” rating on Exxon’s shares.

On a related note, the FT reports that about 225 institutions, controlling more than $26 trillion in investments, banded together to push the 100 largest greenhouse gas emitters to do more to address climate change. These institutions include heavy hitters, such as HSBC, Pimco and pension funds like the massive California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS).

But even as Exxon seems to have announced a major position change, some say the devil will be in the details. The Union for Concerned Scientists says that Exxon’s SEC filing offers very little information about what it will disclose.

“Here are just a few climate-related challenges that the company has yet to address: Climate-induced flooding at its refineries, lawsuits by municipalities seeking to recover costs of adapting to climate-related sea level rise, the fact that its oil and gas reserves may never be recoverable, and ongoing investigations by state attorneys general who charge the company deceived its investors about the reality and seriousness of climate change,” Kathy Mulvey, a climate accountability campaign manager at UCS, said in a statement.

By Nick Cunningham of

24 Comments on "Exxon To Disclose The Real Risk Of Climate Change"

  1. Apneaman on Thu, 14th Dec 2017 1:33 pm 

    Lying SCUM

    Documenting Exxon-Mobil’s funding of climate change skeptics denier-liars.

    ExxonMobil Climate Denial Funding 1998-2014. TOTAL $30,925,235

    Collectively, the Denier Death Cult has spent billions and created an army of loud true believer useful idiots. Most just happen to be white, male, American & conservative, but that’s just a coincidence.

  2. Apneaman on Thu, 14th Dec 2017 1:37 pm 

    Harvard Study Confirms: #ExxonKnew and Misled Public About Climate Threat for Decades

    “”Even while ExxonMobil scientists were contributing to climate science and writing reports that explained it to their bosses, the company was paying for advertisements that told a very different tale,”

    “Supran and Oreskes examined 187 climate change-related communications from ExxonMobil between 1977 and 2014, including peer-reviewed, non-peer-reviewed, and internal communications, as well as paid, editorial-style advertisements, or “advertorials,” published by the New York Times.

    They observed that ExxonMobil’s Times advertorials “included several instances of explicit factual misrepresentation,” and “overwhelmingly emphasized only the uncertainties, promoting a narrative inconsistent with the views of most climate scientists, including ExxonMobil’s own.”

    After Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik wrote about the study, ExxonMobil emailed him comment, calling its findings “inaccurate and preposterous.”

    “ExxonMobil acknowledges the risk of climate change is clear and warrants action,” the statement said, asserting that the study “was paid for, written and published by activists leading a five-year campaign against the company.”

  3. Cloggie on Thu, 14th Dec 2017 2:31 pm 

    “Most just happen to be white, male, American & conservative, but that’s just a coincidence.”

    American white conservative males need to be killed, all of them, right, apneaman?


  4. Boat on Thu, 14th Dec 2017 3:47 pm 


    Say it ain’t so. Assessing a $110 fee per cow for farting? Lol First you allow immigration then fine cattle farts to pay for it.

  5. Shortend on Thu, 14th Dec 2017 3:48 pm 

    T REX already stated the risk while being CEO
    Come on, like the corporate tune will be any different now? Get real…

    Ya, ya, ya…we’ll adapt and engineer solutions….sure we will….

  6. Apneaman on Thu, 14th Dec 2017 4:13 pm 

    If you say so clog. Perhaps the distraught revenge seeking lynch mobs should hire your kind since y’all have that experience with death camps N all.

  7. Cloggie on Thu, 14th Dec 2017 4:28 pm 

    “Perhaps the distraught revenge seeking lynch mobs should hire your kind since y’all have that experience with death camps N all.”

    The Germans were amateurs. In 1939 they had ca. 28,000 political prisoners, among them a lot of jewish communists. That USSR of yours…

    …had tens of millions in the Gulags and millions killed.

  8. Apneaman on Thu, 14th Dec 2017 5:10 pm 

    World War II: The Holocaust

    45 Photos In Focus

    Shocking Pictures from Auschwitz-Birkenau

    Hundreds of thousands of pieces of evidence including testimony from Nazi’s themselves.

    clog loves it. Got to play the unjustly wronged victim his whole life.

    It’s pathological – an addiction in itself.

  9. Apneaman on Thu, 14th Dec 2017 5:13 pm 

    Hot weather smashes Sydney December record

    Sydney weather: Twin alerts for fire risk and health impacts as big heatwave sweeps in

    Cancer Down Under

  10. Apneaman on Thu, 14th Dec 2017 5:16 pm 

    Just how fucking stupid they are

    “HOUSTON (AP) — A housing developer is hoping to win approval from Houston officials to put a 151-acre project on a former golf course where the city and Harris County have spent millions of dollars to buy out homeowners whose properties were damaged by flooding because they were living in a flood plain.”

  11. Makati1 on Thu, 14th Dec 2017 5:26 pm 

    “The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, March 24, 1989,…” WIKI

    “Supreme Court drastically cuts payouts for plaintiffs in Exxon Valdez oil spill” (2008)

    “25 Years After Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Company Still Hasn’t Paid For Long-Term Environmental Damages” (2013)

    “Exxon Valdez litigation ends, but spill’s legacy may be indefinite” (2016)

    “However, if that’s the case, then that was a fraud initially in the settlement in 1991.”

    Lies, fraud and debt from the oily corporations that run the US and are destroying the ecosystem and world peace.

  12. ________ on Thu, 14th Dec 2017 5:30 pm 

    The warmer the better. Fingers crossed

  13. Davy on Thu, 14th Dec 2017 5:40 pm 

    “Lies, fraud and debt from the oily corporations that run the US and are destroying the ecosystem and world peace.”

    Nowhere has there been more damage, more lies and more fraud then Asia in particular China.

  14. Sissyfuss on Thu, 14th Dec 2017 6:01 pm 

    If you don’t go out and get deep in debt for Christmas, the climate scientists will win.

  15. Makati1 on Thu, 14th Dec 2017 6:09 pm 

    Crumbling America…

    “THIS DAY IN HISTORY – Gunman kills students and adults at Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school – 2012”

    “On this day in 2012, a 20-year-old man shoots and kills his mother at their Newtown, Connecticut, home then drives to nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he kills 20 first graders and six school employees before turning a gun on himself. The Sandy Hook tragedy was the second-deadliest mass-shooting in the United States, following the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech, in which a gunman killed 32 students and teachers before committing suicide.”

    And the killing goes on…

  16. Shortend on Thu, 14th Dec 2017 8:15 pm
    Arctic global warming so rapid that computer measuring it rejected the results
    Algorithm meant to be triggered if there is a fault in Alaskan recording equipment stops temperature recording because measurements were too high

    So rapid was the temperature change at a weather station in Alaska, the computer analysing the data detected an error and stopped recording the correct temperature.

    In a blog post, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) climate scientist Dr Deke Arndt explained the recent incident, referring to it as “an ironic exclamation point to swift regional climate change in and near the Arctic”.

    The weather station is located in Utqiaġvik, the most northerly

  17. JuanP on Thu, 14th Dec 2017 9:50 pm 

    Exxon has never made a real disclosure in its existence. Anyone who believes they will do so now is a moron. Bread and circus!

  18. Cloggie on Thu, 14th Dec 2017 9:57 pm 

    “Shocking Pictures from Auschwitz-Birkenau”

    I haven’t seen a single shocking picture.

    Give me a single name and proof of somebody who died in a gaschamber, you stinking liar.

  19. deadlykillerbeaz on Fri, 15th Dec 2017 3:21 am 

    ExxonMobil can sell all of their oil and physical assets, quit the business, go home instead of going big all of the time.

    That way, nobody will complain about ExxonMobil ever again.

    “We in the petroleum industry are not dismissing the global climate change issue. But I don’t believe anyone should have the moral authority to deny people the opportunity to improve their way in life by arbitrarily depriving them of the means…. I hope that the governments of this region will work with us to resist policies that could strangle economic growth.”

    – Lee Raymond, CEO, ExxonMobil

    ExxonMobil is berated and belittled for no reason, really.

    Might as well stop the progressive nonsense and get real. Oil is consumed at a rate of 97.8 million barrels per day. You are not going to change the trend, won’t happen.

    If you want oil, have oil. If you don’t want oil, don’t have it.

    Can’t blame somebody if they want to use oil.

    As for now, Mobil 1 goes a long ways between oil changes.

    Have a good day.

  20. Davy on Fri, 15th Dec 2017 3:48 am 

    Stupid whiners who want to point their fingers at whoever they can for our planetary destruction project. OH, Exon looks good. We need to be pointing our fingers at the human race and each and every one of you on this board who partakes in the fossil fuel orgy. The only honorable people are the very poor that are on the very last dried up teat. I get so tired of the hypocrisy of the blame and complain game.

  21. kanon on Fri, 15th Dec 2017 9:16 am 

    Davy: “I get so tired of the hypocrisy of the blame and complain game.” You should evaluate the degree of choice people actually have. Due to the motor vehicle transportation monopoly in the U.S. there is little practical choice for most people. The implication that the public controls resource allocation and policy in the U.S. is laughable. Besides, you cannot blame sheep for being shorn.

  22. Davy on Fri, 15th Dec 2017 10:30 am 

    Kanon, I hear you but IMO we lost our ability to control fossil fuel usage circa 1930’s. We are systematically trapped and it is not possible in a significant and meaningful way to move away from fossil fuels especially transport. As an individual we can do a lot but even the individual is trapped in the fabric of a fossil fuel society. I am trying to be more green. I want to be more green. I care about Mother Nature but I am painfully aware everything I do is in some way dirty and deadly to the planet.

  23. Apneaman on Fri, 15th Dec 2017 12:19 pm 

    Congratulations to all the members of the Denier Death Cult. You helped kill another to go along with the seemingly, never ending, almost Christmas, California wildfires. Proud day for y’all I’m sure.

    Fire engineer dies as California’s Thomas Fire keeps burning

    Gusty winds could expand deadly California wildfire

    South Dakota wildfire grows beyond Custer State Park; 7 percent of blaze contained

    South Dakota wildfire triggered by a downed power line. The media can’t stress that enough, nor can they when the wildfire triggered by an arsonist or a careless camper or a retard on a ATV bottoming out and creating sparks or even lighting. Much of the time they conveniently forget to mention why & what set those tinder box conditions – AGW. It’s on you stupid puny humans. What ever will you do? Hey, I know keep mass consuming and barrel counting and cheering fracking in a bid to push reality away. That’ll help.

  24. Bloomer on Fri, 15th Dec 2017 6:58 pm 

    Unfettered capalitism has no time for such trivia matters as climate change. Not when there is profits to be made and taxes to avoid. That’s the world we live in and there is no political will to alter that.Electric cars be damned.

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