Upstream opportunity captures

Integration of technical and commercial expertise enables ExxonMobil to identify and capture the highest-quality opportunities via strategic acquisitions and an active exploration program.

Report Apr. 3, 2018


Upstream opportunity captures

Discovered resource opportunity captures

ExxonMobil completed acquisition of multiple discovered resources, adding 8.8 billion low-cost-of-supply oil-equivalent barrels to our global portfolio.

We tripled our Permian Basin resource, primarily via the acquisition of certain entities from the Bass family of Fort Worth, Texas, and expanded our strong position in Papua New Guinea through the acquisition of InterOil Corporation. We also established a new position in the Brazil pre-salt and acquired an indirect equity interest in the natural gas-rich Area 4 block in Mozambique.

Exploration opportunity captures

We continue to focus on new opportunity generation throughout the business cycle. In 2017, we captured the strongest portfolio of exploration opportunities since the Exxon and Mobil merger, adding 20 opportunities in 12 countries, totaling nearly 53 million acres. ExxonMobil operates the majority of these newly captured licenses, positioning us to leverage our project development capabilities on potential discoveries.

Upstream global upstream captures map
Employee near the XTO Permian drilling rig
Photo — Permian Basin net production exceeded 160,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day in 2017. We are continuing to grow, increasing to 30 drilling rigs by year-end 2018.


In addition to the 8.8 billion oil-equivalent barrels from strategic acquisitions, ExxonMobil also added nearly 1 billion oil-equivalent barrels through successful exploration, bringing our total resource base additions to 9.8 billion oil-equivalent barrels. This is almost four times larger than resources added in 2016 and represents the largest single-year increase since the XTO acquisition. These resource additions upgrade our portfolio with low-cost-of-supply opportunities that can be rapidly developed to provide profitable volumes growth.

After adjusting for production, asset sales, and revisions to existing fields, our resource base now totals approximately 97 billion oil-equivalent barrels.

The size and diversity of our global resource base – the largest held by a publicly traded international oil and gas company – provides us with investment flexibility to profitably develop new supplies of energy to meet future demand. Over the past five years, we have had more commercial discoveries than our competition.

 Resource base changes (1)
(billions of oil-equivalent barrels)

2017  5-year average
 Resource additions  9.8  4.7
 Revisions to existing fields  (2.2)  (0.8)
 Production  (1.5)  (1.5)
 Asset sales  (0.5)  (0.5)
 Net change versus year-end 2016  5.6  1.9
(1) See Frequently used terms

Proved reserves

Our proved oil and natural gas reserves total approximately 21 billion oil-equivalent barrels, accounting for 22 percent of our resource base. These reserves represent a diverse portfolio distributed across geographic regions and development types, with liquids comprising almost 57 percent, up from 53 percent in 2016. Proved developed reserves, or reserves with installed production facilities, account for 66 percent of the proved reserves base. Our average reserves life is about 14 years at current production rates. Based on currently anticipated production schedules, we estimate that by 2040, the vast majority of our current proved reserves will have been produced.

Proved reserves additions in 2017 replaced 183 percent of production.
Upstream average life of reserves

Proved reserves additions in 2017 replaced approximately 183 percent of production, including a 277 percent liquids reserves replacement ratio. We added approximately 1.8 billion oil-equivalent barrels of proved reserves associated with project and drilling activities, field performance, acquisitions, and sales. As a result of higher crude oil and natural gas prices relative to 2016, about 900 million additional oil-equivalent barrels in North America qualified as proved reserves under SEC guidelines, due primarily to the extension of the economic field life.

Looking forward, we will continue to develop the most profitable resource opportunities as we progress our inventory of nearly 100 projects. Our development planning organization collaborates with our technology organization to create innovative concepts that maximize value from our development projects.

Upstream statistical information

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ExxonMobil’s high-quality portfolio, investment discipline, and operational excellence have delivered industry-leading results for decades. We have a globally diverse inventory of nearly 100 projects spanning all development types. We continue to advance these opportunities selectively, focusing on those that provide the most attractive returns. For producing assets, we maximize value by focusing on reliability, cost reductions, and improved recovery.

Digital Annual Report Report Apr. 3, 2018

Upstream portfolio tables

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ExxonMobil’s long-term strategies and our unwavering commitment to the highest standards of integrity underpin everything we do. The company’s core business strategies provide the framework for the organization to deliver on its commitments and create shareholder value throughout the commodity price cycle.

Digital Annual Report Report Apr. 3, 2018