LNG 2019 Conference

Darren W. Woods, LNG 2019 Conference
Shanghai
 

Darren Woods headshot
Darren W. Woods

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Speech Apr. 2, 2019

LNG 2019 Conference

Thank you, David [Carroll, President and CEO, Gas Technology Institute].  It’s great to be in Shanghai for this important gathering. 

Our corporation’s roots in China go back to 1892, when Standard Oil opened its first sales office right here in Shanghai.  Back then, we marketed kerosene to light the Mei Foo lamps in Chinese homes.

Today, this city is home to our Shanghai Technology Center that serves growing markets throughout the Asia-Pacific region.  So we’ve come a long way.

I’m delighted to be in a city that has such a long history with ExxonMobil … and an even brighter future.

This is the right place to be holding LNG 19.

This conference has typically been held in major producing countries.  Most recently in Algeria, Australia, and the United States.

This year, it’s taking place in a country that’s critical to the global LNG trade – as a consumer. 

A consumer that noted energy expert Daniel Yergin calls “a market of decisive importance.”

And one that I believe is becoming even more decisive – and more important – every day.

China, after all, is one of the world’s fastest-growing LNG markets.  That shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with this country’s remarkable economic expansion.

In fact, over the next two decades, around half of the world’s economic growth is expected to take place in Asia, and more than half of that will come from China.

The International Monetary Fund has described this region as “the main engine of the world’s economy.”

So it’s appropriate that we’re talking about the “Global Outlook for LNG” in a region … and in a country … that will play such a leading role in shaping that outlook.

Abundant and affordable supplies of natural gas will be the “power behind the progress” in China and the rest of this region in the 21st century.

I’m proud that our company is playing a role in this progress.

We’ve partnered with Sinopec and PetroChina for the past decade to provide LNG to China, and also made spot sales to CNOOC.  These partnerships have helped millions of Chinese enjoy higher standards of living, improved air quality, and reliable access to energy.

It’s a good example of how natural gas can help not only meet energy and economic challenges, but provide environmental solutions as well.

We all know the facts: when natural gas is used to generate electricity, it produces up to 60 percent fewer CO2 emissions than coal, and cuts back significantly on other pollutants.

That means natural gas offers the prospect of less carbon-intensive economic growth at a time when governments around the world are searching for climate change solutions.

Substituting natural gas for coal in power generation provides an immediate, large-scale, and proven option to make significant progress in lowering global emissions and improving air quality.

That’s why gas demand is projected to outpace overall energy demand in the coming decades, and why many people refer to natural gas as the “fuel of the future.” 

I would argue it’s also the fuel of the present.

But, as we all know, natural gas supplies aren’t always close to natural gas markets.  So international trade partnerships are critical.  That means collaboration between the public and private sectors, large investments, and sound government policies.

And of course, LNG.

The global LNG business is one of the world’s fastest-growing energy markets.  Demand is expected to double by 2040, to approximately 600 million tons annually.

It’s not just a period of growth.  It’s also a time of transformation.  We’re seeing increased supplies from a geographically diverse resource base, greater liquidity, more competition, and a growing number of buyers and sellers.

At ExxonMobil, we see great promise in this shifting future.  In this open and dynamic market, we’re uniquely positioned to seize opportunities that deliver value to our customers, our partners and our shareholders.

ExxonMobil is currently one of the world’s leading producers of natural gas.  And with new projects and expansions in places like Papua New Guinea, Mozambique and the U.S. Gulf Coast, we’re preparing for even more in the years ahead.

At our Papua New Guinea LNG project, we’re planning to double our capacity to 16 million tons per year by adding three new trains.

In Mozambique, we’re making good progress on our plans.  We are of course deeply saddened by the devastation brought on by last month’s cyclone. And while keeping all those impacted in our thoughts, we are helping with recovery efforts as we continue the construction on our floating LNG project, which is expected to start up in 2022.

We’ve also provided the government with our development plans for the onshore project, which has a planned capacity of more than 15 million tons per year.  A final investment decision is expected later this year.

And in the United States, we recently announced plans with Qatar Petroleum to proceed with the Golden Pass LNG export terminal on the Texas Gulf Coast.  It will have the capacity to produce around 16 million tons of LNG for export per year, starting in 2024.

This project leverages the long-term relationship we’ve had with Qatar Petroleum and the strengths of both of our companies. We’re applying our join expertise at Golden Pass and elsewhere around the world to continue a history of successful developments that brought us to where we are today – dependable partners, providing reliable, low-cost LNG to our customers.

It’s an exciting time for our industry.  The dynamic economies here in China – and throughout the Asia-Pacific region – will continue to demand natural gas to power their homes, their businesses and their schools.

And the global LNG market is poised to deliver.

At ExxonMobil, we’re proud of the role that we’re playing in helping supply natural gas to fuel economic growth, improve living standards and reduce emissions.  And we’re excited by the prospect of powering growth and prosperity for generations to come.

I look forward our conversation this morning. Thank you very much.

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