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Houston Chronicle: Exxon Mobil seeks elbow room

CEO says nations should open up more territory to satiate demand

Bloomberg News
Aug. 23, 2006, 12:28AM

Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson urged governments on Tuesday to open more territory to energy exploration to boost supplies and satisfy rising world demand.

“By providing timely access to resources, governments enable energy companies to bring the full extent of their technology and know-how to bear to new supply opportunities,” Tillerson said at a conference in Stavanger, Norway, according to a text of his remarks.

Crude prices have more than doubled in the past three years as surging demand for petroleum-based fuels strained global production beset by war, hurricanes, labor strikes and political unrest.

International oil producers such as Irving-based Exxon Mobil and The Hague-based Royal Dutch Shell have more expertise than state-owned entities that control some of the world’s biggest oil fields, Tillerson said. That expertise is required to fully develop aging or difficult-to-reach reserves, he said.

“Artificial national barriers to competition can slow technological development and limit the long-term value of energy resources for suppliers and consumers alike,” Tillerson said. “Most energy technologies are developed with specific resources in mind. If these resources are made off-limits, the incentive for R&D is reduced.”

Current crude prices are harmful to world economies, Tillerson said during a press conference after his speech.

Developing nations that spend a higher proportion of their gross domestic products on energy are already vulnerable, he said.

Tillerson also said:

•Exxon Mobil hopes that differences with Venezuela over changes in oil contracts can be resolved with negotiations.

•He was unable to provide the financial impact of a slowdown in production from the Prudhoe Bay oil field in Alaska because of pipeline corrosion.

•He wants to expand the company’s oil business in Russia.

•The company plans to increase production in Nigeria at a time when rivals are shutting wells because of unrest. and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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