Digital Annual Report

Chemical

ExxonMobil Chemical is one of the world's most profitable chemical companies. 

Sales of

27 million

tonnes, highest in 10 years
Successfully completed

3 key

chemical projects
Product offering

expanded

for high-performance applications
To meet growing demand for high-performance plastics, we are installing a new production unit at the Beaumont polyethylene plant.

Business fundamentals

Chemical industry growth is forecast to outpace growth in global GDP and energy demand for the next two decades. Most of that growth will come from Asia and other developing markets.

The driving factors are increasing global population and improving standards of living. Global population is forecast to grow from about 7.4 billion people in 2016 to about 9.2 billion people by 2040. According to research by the Brookings Institution, the global middle class is expected to grow by about 80 percent from 2015 to 2030. As incomes in the developing world increase, more people will have access to consumer goods, automobiles, and appliances, which require many chemical products. ExxonMobil estimates that global demand for chemicals will rise by approximately 45 percent over the next decade.

Competitive advantages

Catalyst and process technology leadership, including metallocene catalyst development and commercialization, underpins our strong market position in high-performance products. We also invest in new process technology innovations, as demonstrated by the world’s first and only crude cracker in Singapore, which lowers cost and enhances feed flexibility.

Building on our global scale and market presence, we have established several technology centers around the world, enabling us to interact directly with customers, develop timely new product solutions, and nurture long-term relationships. Leveraging our global manufacturing footprint, we are able to process the most advantaged feedstocks and move products efficiently through a unique global supply chain.

We leveraged the acquisition of the Banyan aromatics facility to strengthen our integrated business in Singapore across Downstream and Chemical operations by interconnecting pipelines and optimizing logistics. We are also jointly developing the Singapore residual upgrade project between Downstream and Chemical to upgrade residual, low-value streams from both chemical and downstream operations into Group II lube basestocks, further improving the competitiveness of the site.

Leading project management capabilities and deep technical and commercial functional excellence have contributed to recent sales growth. With a proven track record of delivering several major chemical projects successfully in the past two years, we remain a partner of choice, as demonstrated by the world-scale petrochemical complex on the U.S. Gulf Coast with partner SABIC and the agreement of cooperation signed with the government of Guangdong Province, China, for a potential petrochemical facility.

Critical positions in the Chemical business are filled by employees we have developed through training, challenging assignments, and broad experiences. Approximately 1,500 people fill these roles and are essential to meeting resource demand for major growth projects.

Chemical statistical recap

 
  2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
Earnings (millions of dollars) 3,351 4,518 4,615 4,418 4,315
Prime product sales(1) (thousands of tonnes) 26,869 25,420 24,925 24,713 24,235
Average capital employed(2) (millions of dollars) 30,420 27,516 24,844 23,750 22,197
Return on average capital employed(2) (percent) 11.0 16.4 18.6 18.6 19.4
Capital expenditures(2) (millions of dollars) 2,235 3,771 2,207 2,843 2,741

(1) Prime product sales data reported net of purchases/sales contracts with the same counterparty.
(2) See Frequently used terms