The Esso, Mobil and ExxonMobil companies that operate in the U.K. are wholly owned subsidiaries of Exxon Mobil Corporation. The principal companies are Esso Petroleum Co. Ltd., ExxonMobil Chemical Ltd., Esso Exploration and Production U.K. Ltd., and Advanced Elastomer Systems Ltd. Specific international operations are stewarded from the U.K. by ExxonMobil International Ltd., ExxonMobil Gas Marketing Europe Ltd., ExxonMobil Marine Ltd. and International Marine Transportation Ltd.
Our main U.K. operating locations are: Fawley, near Southampton, England, where we have a refinery and chemicals manufacturing plant; Mossmorran in Fife, Scotland, where we have an ethylene manufacturing plant; and Newport, South Wales, where we have a thermoplastic elastomer products manufacturing plant. Our main offices are at Leatherhead (UK Headquarters) and Fawley, England and Aberdeen, Scotland.
We have more than 6,500 employees and 1,500 contractors in the U.K. In addition, more than 3,000 people in the U.K. are employed at independently run Esso service stations.
ExxonMobil’s roots in the U.K. date back to 1888. Esso began life as the Anglo American Oil Company in 1888. It was the first foreign affiliate of John D Rockefeller's U.S. company the Standard Oil Trust. It had a head office at Bishopsgate, London, and a depot at Purfleet in Essex. The depot stored paraffin being shipped from New York for use in lamps throughout England. In 1911, the US Supreme Court ordered the dissolution of the Standard Oil Trust, resulting in the spin-off of 33 companies, one of which - Standard Oil (New Jersey) - acquired Anglo-American. The British affiliate remained with the New Jersey company and, in 1934, took a phonetic version of the initials of Standard Oil (SO = Esso) for some of its brand names. In 1951, Esso was adopted as the company name. Because use of the Esso trademark in the U.S. was restricted, Standard Oil (New Jersey) chose Exxon as its name in 1972.
Mobil's roots in Britain go back to 1885 when Vacuum Oil, a U.S. company producing superior lubricating oil, opened a sales office in Liverpool. Vacuum Oil was part of John D Rockefeller's U.S. company the Standard Oil Trust. When the US Supreme Court ordered the dissolution of the Standard Oil Trust in 1911, its assets were acquired by one of the spin-off companies, the Standard Oil Company of New York, which eventually became Mobil Oil. Although Mobil petrol brands did not appear in the UK until 1954, the trademark Mobiloil was used by Vacuum Oil in Britain as early as 1899. On December 1, 1955, the company changed its name to the Mobil Oil Company Limited. Records are vague but indicate that whoever first suggested Mobiloil was motivated by the Latin word "mobilis" - meaning capable of being moved - and by the new horseless carriages that the product lubricated.
Offshore oil and gas
ExxonMobil has been a major investor in the U.K.'s offshore oil and gas industry since the first exploration activities in the North Sea began in 1964. Combined investment from that time is the equivalent to over £32.4 billion at today's prices.
The principal ExxonMobil subsidiary involved in offshore operations in the U.K. is Esso Exploration and Production U.K. Limited. We have an interest in nearly 40 producing oil and gas fields in the U.K. and are responsible for approximately five per cent of U.K. oil and gas production. In 2011, we supplied the UK and international markets with an average of 80,000 barrels of oil and 441 million cubic feet of gas a day.
Esso is one of the largest investors in the U.K. offshore industry. Investment in the North Sea is managed through a 50/50 joint operation with Shell. In the early days of North Sea exploration, Esso and Shell decided to pool their financial, technical and managerial resources and to share equally the risks and profits of a joint operation in the North Sea. Shell U.K. Exploration and Production was designated the operator in an agreement that was signed in April 1965. Shell is still the designated operator for many of the fields in this joint operation.
ExxonMobil does not have any interests in onshore oil and gas fields in the U.K..
The exploration part of our business is concerned with identifying, capturing and evaluating new oil and gas resources.
Many of today's exploration targets lie miles below the sea bed in extreme and inhospitable waters. Exploration in areas such as these would not have been technically or economically viable a decade ago. We typically start by acquiring seismic data to provide an image of the sub-surface.
ExxonMobil proprietary technology in seismic acquisition and processing enables us to execute even the most difficult and challenging seismic projects.
As the inventors of 3-D seismic imaging, our researchers have continued to develop new ways of reducing the cost and increasing the quality of sub-surface imaging.
We have also developed advanced interpretation tools that enable us to understand how the source rock matured, what hydrocarbons formed, how oil and gas migrated from source to reservoir and what compositional changes may have occurred over time. These techniques greatly enhance our ability to predict the distribution and quality of oil and gas in a reservoir - a critical factor in evaluating the viability of a prospect.
Once a prospect is developed we assess the risks and commercial viability. If deemed acceptable we test the prospect by drilling a well.
From our offices in Leatherhead, Surrey, we are actively working exploration projects in the U.K., Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, Romania, Poland, Turkey, Libya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Russia and the Caspian area, as well as searching for new opportunities throughout Europe, Russia and North and East Africa. As a result we have over twenty five different nationalities involved in the search for conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources with both offshore and onshore ExxonMobil operated activities. Activities range from studies, through acquiring and processing seismic data to drilling wells. We have strong links to our large, well-funded research organization in Houston, Texas and collaborate globally with our colleagues to ensure the best technologies and expertise is being used.
ExxonMobil has an interest in around 40 producing oil and gas fields in the North Sea. Many of these fields are operated by Shell U.K. Exploration and Production as part of a joint operation.
We are responsible for approximately five per cent of U.K. oil and gas production.
Several different types of production installation are used to maximize the efficient and cost-effective recovery of oil and gas from our offshore fields. The installation may be a platform, a floating production facility or sub-sea wellheads connected to a central processing facility.
Esso Exploration and Production U.K. Limited has been producing gas from the North Sea since 1968 and oil since 1976.
The Brent field has been producing oil and gas for some 35 years. The extended life span of these fields is due almost entirely to investment in the development of new technologies.
Ongoing technological advances in reservoir management tools have offered new geological insights and improved reservoir performance. Engineering innovations such as extended reach drilling and horizontal wells allow optimum development.
Operated by others
Many of the production fields in which ExxonMobil has an interest are operated by another company as part of a joint operation.
Esso Exploration and Production U.K. Limited, an ExxonMobil subsidiary, is one of the largest investors in the U.K. offshore industry. The majority of Esso's investments in the North Sea are operated by Shell U.K. Exploration & Production Limited.
ExxonMobil also has interests in other fields in the North Sea operated by other companies and an interest in major pipeline systems that transport oil and gas from the North Sea to terminals on the north east coast of England and Scotland.
Oil from the North Sea is transported either by pipeline to terminals - at Sullom Voe in the Shetlands, Cruden Bay in Scotland, or Teesside in England - or loaded offshore on to tankers for delivery to refineries in the U.K. and around the world.
Gas from the northern and central North Sea is piped to processing plants at St Fergus on the north-east coast of Scotland and also to Teesside and Bacton. At the Shell/Esso processing plant at St Fergus, natural gas is fed into the national grid and natural gas liquids (NGLs) are piped to Mossmorran in Fife for further processing. At the NGL plant, separated propane and butane are exported by ship, while ethane is piped to the Fife Ethylene Plant in Mossmorran that is operated by ExxonMobil Chemical.
Gas from the southern North Sea fields is piped to plants either at Bacton or Theddlethorpe on the east coast of England where it is processed before being fed into the Transco National Transmission System and distributed to end users.
Gas & Power Marketing
ExxonMobil Gas & Power Marketing is the world's largest non-government marketer of natural gas. Its European activities are coordinated from its office in Leatherhead.
ExxonMobil has supplied the U.K. market with gas for over 30 years. Sales in the U.K. represent around 18 per cent of the gas market in the U.K., which is Europe's largest user of natural gas. Gas is sold to a range of customers including the power generation industry, and also gas distribution companies, who re-sell gas to customers in the industrial, commercial and domestic sectors.
European gas demand is expected to grow at about one per cent a year over the next 20 or so years, while regional production of natural gas is anticipated to begin declining in the next several years. This growing gap between demand and local production will result in a rapid increase in the need for imported gas supplies from new LNG and pipeline projects.
In the North Sea, through the ExxonMobil subsidiary Esso Exploration and Production U.K. Limited, the company is involved in multiple field developments, and has significant ownership interests in multiple offshore gas-gathering pipeline systems, and onshore processing facilities at Mossmorran in Scotland, and at Bacton in England. From its office in Leatherhead and, where necessary with consultation with other infrastructure owners, requests for third party access to these pipelines, processing and fractionation facilities are assessed.
ExxonMobil holds capacity in the new Langeled pipeline from Norway to the United Kingdom, and participates in the Gas Terra joint venture in the Netherlands, which holds capacity in the BBL pipeline from the Netherlands to the U.K.. Both pipelines started commercial operations in 2006 and provide additional gas import capacity to the U.K..
To meet the growing demand for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in the U.K., ExxonMobil participates in a joint venture with Qatar Petroleum and Total to bring LNG from Qatar to the U.K.. The South Hook LNG regasification terminal, at Milford Haven in South Wales, is one of Europe's largest LNG terminals. South Hook received its commissioning cargo in 2009. In the last twelve months (until the end of June 2012), South Hook safely received, re-gasified and delivered LNG equivalent to around 15 per cent of the U.K.'s gas needs. South Hook has the capacity to receive more LNG - enough to meet around one fifth of Britain's gas needs.
Refining and marketing
ExxonMobil is best known in the U.K. for our famous brands: Esso and Mobil.
We are one of the largest petrol retailers in the U.K.. We serve around 800,000 customers every day, 365 days of the year, through our retail network of more than 1,100 Esso-branded service stations.
Mobil 1 is a high quality synthetic motor oil that provides cars with an outstanding level of engine protection and increased fuel economy. It is the top choice of most major motor manufacturers. Find out more about Mobil lubricants for motorists.
Esso is the market leading petrol retailer in the U.K. and has been the first to bring new products to our customers: we were the first to sell unleaded petrol, the first major oil company to sell lead replacement petrol and we led the industry in making ultra-low sulfur diesel and ultra-low sulfur petrol available nationwide. We also sell fuels and lubricants to industrial, aviation and marine customers.
Our outstanding levels of customer service are supported by our refining and distribution operations.
The Esso refinery at Fawley, near Southampton, is the largest in the U.K. and one of the most complex in Europe. Situated on Southampton Water, it has a modern marine terminal that handles around 2,000 ship movements and 22 million tons of crude oil and other products every year. The refinery processes some 330,000 barrels of crude oil a day and supplies around 14 per cent of all petroleum products used in the U.K.
Some 85 per cent of refinery products are transported from the refinery to our U.K. distribution terminals in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way - by underground pipeline.
The Esso refinery at Fawley, near Southampton, is the largest in the U.K. and one of the most complex in Europe. Situated on Southampton Water, it has a mile-long marine terminal that handles around 2,000 ship movements and 22 million tons of crude oil and other products every year. The refinery processes around 330,000 barrels of crude oil a day and provides 20 per cent of U.K. refinery capacity.
We are committed to the very highest safety, health and environmental standards. But we are never complacent and are always exploring ways of further improving the safety and integrity of our operations.
Safety is the first priority in all our activities and our safety performance across the Fawley site is excellent. Workers at Fawley are significantly safer than the average in the European oil and chemical industry.
Although our safety performance continues to earn us awards, we know we are not perfect. We are committed to learning from our mistakes and will not be satisfied until our operations are flawless.
We continue to improve our environmental performance. The site's emissions to atmosphere have been falling steadily. This reduction has been achieved in part by the installation of a £60 million cogeneration unit. This highly energy efficient combined heat and power (CHP) unit burns fuel at an efficiency of 75 per cent, twice the efficiency of a conventional power station. Energy efficiency improvements over recent years have led to significant reductions in emissions - equivalent to taking 250,000 cars off British roads every year.
Our record on releases of oil in water used by the refinery is also excellent. The site draws over 300,000 tons of sea water from Southampton Water every day, mostly for cooling purposes. When it is returned to the sea after purification it is often cleaner than when it was extracted.
The thriving saltmarsh on the seaward boundary of the site is a testament to our environmental performance. It forms a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) that is home to some 22 species of birds. The land boundary of the site is surrounded by a tree screen containing some 50,000 mature trees and shrubs, originally planted some 50 years ago.
The refinery and adjacent chemical manufacturing plant are committed to being responsible neighbors and have a well-established program of community links in the area. A newsletter about the Fawley site, Community Matters , is distributed to local residents six times a year.
ExxonMobil Chemical is one of the world's largest petrochemical manufacturers. Over 90 per cent of the chemical capacity that we own and operate is integrated with our large refining complexes or natural gas processing plants
In the UK, ExxonMobil Chemical Limited is one of the country's top chemical companies in terms of turnover. We employ nearly 400 people plus up to 100 contractors at our site in Fawley near Southampton, and we have around 170 employees and 50 contractors at our ethylene plant at Fife in Scotland. In addition, Advanced Elastomer Systems Limited (AES), another ExxonMobil subsidiary, has around 70 employees and contractors at a manufacturing plant in Newport, South Wales.
At Fawley, ExxonMobil Chemical produces approximately 750,000 tons of chemical products every year. We are the major European manufacturer of halobutyl rubber that is used in products such as tire linings. More than 90 per cent of the chemical products produced at Fawley are exported by ship either to ExxonMobil Chemical plants in Europe for further processing or to third party customers all over the world.
The ethylene plant at Fife is one of Europe's largest and most modern ethylene plants. Officially opened in 1986 at Mossmorran, 25 miles north of Edinburgh, it was the first plant specifically designed to use natural gas liquids (NGL) from the North Sea as feedstock. The ethane feedstock is recovered and piped from the adjacent Shell/Esso NGL plant. The Fife Ethylene Plant has an annual capacity of 830,000 tons, around 50 per cent of which is shipped to Antwerp for further processing, while the remainder is produced for Shell Chemical Limited.
The AES manufacturing plant in Newport has capacity to produce 50,000 tons of thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) per annum. TPEs manufactured at the site are marketed under the trademark Santoprene. TPEs are products that perform like rubber, but can be processed with the speed, efficiency and economy of thermoplastics. Around 50 per cent of TPE sales are to the automotive industry, but the versatile product is also used by the construction industry and for consumer goods, such as flexible toothbrushes and kitchen utensils.
Fawley chemical manufacturing plant
At Fawley in Hampshire, Esso Petroleum Company, Limited and ExxonMobil Chemical Limited operate one of the largest and most complex oil refining and petrochemical manufacturing sites in Europe.
The chemical plant produces approximately 750,000 tons of chemical products every year. More than 90 per cent of the chemical products manufactured at Fawley are exported by ship from the site's deep water marine terminal on Southampton Water. Products are shipped to ExxonMobil Chemical plants in Europe for further processing or to third party customers all over the world.
We also import butene which is stored in seven large pressurized spheres - known as the seven sisters - that are a prominent feature of the Fawley site.
The two key products produced at Fawley are MEK (methyl ethyl ketone) - a powerful solvent used in paints & adhesives - and halobutyl rubber. We are the major European manufacturer of halobutyl rubber which is used to line tires - the majority of tires manufactured in Europe contain some Fawley halobutyl rubber.
The refinery and chemical plants at Fawley are highly integrated. During the refining process, the catalytic cracker performs the important function of upgrading heavy low-value refinery streams into light chemical feedstock streams such as propylenes and butenes. These are fed to the adjacent chemical plants that convert them into high-value, high purity chemical products.
ExxonMobil Chemical is dedicated to protecting the health and safety of its neighbors, employees and contractors as well as the environment. We are continuously reducing the overall impact of our operations on the environment. As important members of the local community for 60 years, Esso and ExxonMobil Chemical are committed to being responsible neighbors and have a well-established program of community links in the area. A newsletter about the Fawley site, Community Matters , is distributed to local residents six times a year.
Fife Ethylene Plant
ExxonMobil Chemical's Fife Ethylene Plant (FEP) is one of Europe's largest and most modern ethylene plants. Construction at Mossmorran, 25 miles north of Edinburgh, began in 1981 and the plant was officially opened by the Queen in 1986. It was the first plant specifically designed to use natural gas liquids from the North Sea as feedstock.
Around 170 employees and 50 core contractors work at the plant that has an annual capacity of 830,000 tons of ethylene.
To make ethylene, ethane feedstock is heated to almost 900oC to 'crack' it to ethylene in the steam cracking furnaces. The gas stream is then cooled to below -150oC to recover the valuable ethylene product.
By-product gases from processing are used as fuel in the plant's furnaces and gas turbine. The unit produces electricity in a highly energy efficient way. The ethylene plant and offices are now virtually self-sufficient in energy.
Around 50 per cent of the ethylene produced is distributed via the U.K. ethylene pipeline network. The balance is pumped to Braefoot Bay Marine Terminal on the Firth of Forth where it is stored as a liquid at -103oC and shipped to Antwerp.
The safety, health and environmental (SHE) performance at the Fife Ethylene Plant is consistently high. In addition to ExxonMobil's own SHE management audit systems, the plant is regularly monitored by inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
Employees at our Fife plant have worked closely with local communities for over 20 years. A Liaison Committee gives the company's senior managers and community representatives a forum for regular dialogue about local issues and opportunities. We also have a well-established program of community support in the area.
Advanced Elastomer Systems (AES)
Advanced Elastomer Systems Limited (AES), an ExxonMobil subsidiary, is one of the world's leading suppliers of thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs).
Around 70 employees and contractors work at the AES manufacturing plant in Newport, Wales, which has capacity to produce over 50,000 tons of TPEs per annum. TPEs manufactured at the site are marketed under the trademark Santoprene.
TPEs are products that perform like rubber but can be processed with the speed, efficiency and economy of thermoplastics. In addition to simpler processing, the principal advantages of TPEs compared to thermoset rubber products include easier recycling of scrap, improved environmental attributes, closer and more economical control of dimensions as well as product quality, and lower weight.
Around 50 per cent of TPE sales are to the automotive industry where it is used on car windscreens, under-bonnet applications and for interior parts. The versatile product is also used by the construction industry, and for consumer goods such as flexible toothbrushes and kitchen utensils.
The AES Newport site has an excellent safety and environmental record and values its associations with the local community, in particular the involvement of many of its employees with local schools and charities.
Our commitment to the community
Community and society
Wherever we do business, we put our energies into improving the quality of life of our neighbors and their communities. We have always considered this an important part of our responsibility as a good corporate citizen.
ExxonMobil is among the top corporate supporters of the U.K. voluntary sector and in 2011 invested more than £1.4 million in supporting community projects and initiatives around its major employment locations, focusing on:
- Education: assisting with the teaching of science, technology and environmental education through the ExxonMobil Link Schools Program, the Sci-Tech Challenge and the Excellence in Teaching Awards.
- Civic and community services: supporting activities that improve the quality of life for people in local communities.
- Volunteering: Through its Volunteer Involvement Program and School Governors Scheme, ExxonMobil provides cash grants to the organizations that its U.K. employees and families support as volunteers. The Day of Caring initiative gives employees the opportunity to volunteer their services to work on community projects on company time.
- Health: From the United States, the ExxonMobil Foundation is funding five new scholarships at Oxford University this year to train the next generation of health leaders from developing countries on a one-year Master of Science degree with a strong focus on global public health threats including malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. The program is now in its second year.
Exxon Mobil Corporation has numerous affiliates, with many names that include ExxonMobil, Exxon, Mobil, Esso and XTO. For convenience and simplicity those terms and terms such as Corporation, company, our, we and its are sometimes used as abbreviated references to specific affiliates or affiliate groups.