Over the past decade, technology pioneered by the energy industry has unlocked vast oil and natural gas resources that were previously difficult to produce. In particular, the production of natural gas in U.S. shale basins, including those found in Gulf Coast states such as Texas, has grown significantly in recent years. These opportunities have spurred local and regional economic activities in the United States.
In addition to helping grow the economy, increased natural gas production also generates environmental benefits. Natural gas is the least carbon-intensive of the major energy sources, emitting up to 60 percent fewer carbon dioxide emissions than coal when used for electricity generation.
We operate three refineries located along the U.S. Gulf Coast in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Baytown, Texas; and Beaumont, Texas. These and other facilities will support ExxonMobil’s expanded refining, chemical, lubricant and liquefied natural gas operations. Our Gulf Coast refineries have the combined capacity to process nearly 1.5 million barrels of crude oil per day to produce a range of products, including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, lubricating oils, adhesives and resilient, lightweight plastics used in a variety of applications.
ExxonMobil plans to invest more than $20 billion over 10 years, beginning in 2013, in our refining, chemical and joint venture businesses along the Gulf Coast as part of our Growing the Gulf investment program. ExxonMobil’s U.S. Gulf expansion includes 11 major chemical, refining, lubricants and liquefied natural gas projects along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. This includes the expansion of existing facilities and construction of new facilities that will increase our refining and chemical capacity.
These projects are expected to create more than 45,000 jobs in the region. Many of these are highly skilled, high-paying jobs averaging about $100,000 per year.
We are partnering with local, state and national leaders to positively contribute to the Gulf Coast communities. The company also partners with colleges in the Baytown, Beaumont and Baton Rouge areas to train students for high-skilled jobs in the Gulf Coast manufacturing sector.
ExxonMobil also works to maintain strong relationships with Gulf Coast communities through strategic investments and employee-driven initiatives. In Baton Rouge alone, employees, retirees and family members annually volunteer more than 40,000 hours with community organizations, earning more than $760,000 in ExxonMobil Volunteer Involvement Program grants for local agencies and groups. ExxonMobil also annually donates nearly $1 million to nonprofits and schools and about $1.5 million to colleges and universities in Louisiana.
As we help drive economic progress and support local communities in the Gulf Coast, we remain committed to operating safely, protecting the environment, maintaining the highest levels of operational integrity and remaining a good corporate citizen.