Exxon Mobile Case

Exxon Mobil is the largest U.S. Company in the world and it participates in three very profitable industries: Mining/Crude-Oil industry, Petroleum Refining, and Chemicals. Exxon Mobil is a multinational oil and gas corporation. They have evolved over the past 125 years as a regional marketer of kerosene in the U.S. to the largest publicly traded petroleum and petrochemical enterprise in the world. Today Exxon Mobil operates in most of the world's countries and is best known by their familiar brand names: Exxon, Esso and Mobil. They make the products that drive modern transportation, power cities, lubricate industry and provide petrochemical building blocks that lead to thousands of consumer goods.

Exxon Mobil was founded by John Rockefeller and his associates in 1870 originally named standard oil company. By 1882 Standard Oil Company was renamed Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (Jersey Standard) and the Standard Oil Company of New York (Socony). Standard Oil broke up into 34 unrelated companies after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, including Jersey Standard, Socony, and Vacuum Oil. After 100 years in business the company went through yet another name change to Mobil Oil Corporation. In 1972 Jersey Standard becomes Exxon Corporation. In November 30, 1999, Exxon and Mobil join together to become Exxon Mobil Corporation.

The merger increased their ability to be a more effective global competitor in the volatile economy and in an industry that is very competitive. In 2005 both Exxon Mobil and Qatar Petroleum with joint venture partners expanded the development of the giant North Field offshore Qatar, which is the largest non associated gas field in the world. Increased global energy demands and managing the risk of green house gases are the two critical challenges for them. They address these issues by applying science and innovation to find better, safer, and cleaner ways to meet the global energy demands. (Exxon Background) Exxon Mobil’s mission is considered “Guiding Principles” and "Taking on the world's toughest energy challenges." is an advertising slogan that Exxon uses.

Their mission statement states: "Exxon Mobil Corporation is committed to being the world's premier petroleum and petrochemical company. To that end, we must continuously achieve superior financial and operating results while adhering to the highest standards of business conduct. These unwavering expectations provide the foundation for our commitments to those with whom we interact." (Exxon Mobil)

The current issues that Exxon Mobil faces are: energy outlook, spill prevention, safety, hydraulic fracturing policy, capital investments, managing climate change risks, community investment, transparency, U.S. energy policy, environmental performance, energy technology, stable tax policies to spur long-term investment, political involvement, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our operations, human rights and security, and Exxon Valdez.

The biggest issue they face on a day to day basis is spill prevention. In 2009, there were about 27,000 marine vessel voyages, and there was only one leak of trace amounts of oil from a long-term leased vessel and this spill was not from an ExxonMobil marine affiliate owned and operated vessel or barge. Exxon credits this performance to a rigorous screening process for all marine vessels, which examines hundreds of technical, operational, and other noncommercial factors.

Only those vessels that meet the highest criteria are considered for hire to ensure high levels of overall safety and quality.(Issues) Porter’s five forces analyses these issues: Threat of new entrants, business rivalry, supplier power, buyer power, and threat of substitutes. The threat of new entrants is low because barriers to entry include high capital cost, economies of scale, distribution channels, proprietary technology, environmental regulation, geopolitical factors, and high levels of industry expertise needed to be competitive in the areas of exploration and extraction.

Additionally, fixed cost levels are higher for upstream, downstream, and chemical products; which makes it very difficult for new companies to enter the market. Business rivalry is high because of the commodity-based nature of the business. Also there is competition with other industries that supply chemical, energy, and fuel for both industrial and individual consumers. The industry growth rate (based on the global demand for petroleum) is estimated to be 1.9% in 2008 and does not pose a threat or an opportunity. Since the oil industry is a commodities market, the competitive advantage is primarily from the ability to produce products at a lower cost via operational efficiencies.

The significant number of competitors includes ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, Conoco Philips, and Royal Dutch Shell. The supplier powers are the oil mining and extraction firms. Supplier power is high because OPEC controls 40% of world’s supply of oil and, thus, has a strong influence on the price of oil. OPEC’s influence on oil prices is a threat because Exxon purchases oil on the open market. In addition, unstable countries that host Exxon oil reserves are a threat because they can seize Exxon’s assets at any time.

Buyer Power is both industrial consumers and individual consumers. Industrial buyer power is low because upstream suppliers have an incentive to limit supply and keep prices high as is evidenced by the shrinking downstream margins. Individual buyer power is low because of the high volume of demand as is evidenced by the fact that energy prices are continuing to rise despite slowing economic growth worldwide. The threat of substitutes is low and comes from nuclear power, hydroelectric, biomass, geothermal, solar, and wind. Nuclear and hydroelectric energy sources are not a threat within the next decade because of government regulation, environmental concerns, and a high barrier to entry.

The only potential threat could be biomass. However, efficiency levels of biomass have yet to be proven competitive to oil/natural gas. Finally, coal could prove to be a threat to oil consumption as an energy source should technological advancements in coal liquefaction techniques advance to a level that would provide clean, stable oil molecules from the largely abundant domestic coal reserves. (Five Forces Model) Exxon Mobil’s evaluation of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (S.W.O.T)

Strengths are strong and steady financial performance, strong research and development, diversified revenue stream, technological advancements, and cash generator. Weaknesses are weak upstream performance in the U.S., employee unrest, and legal proceedings. Opportunities are increasing demand for refined products in China, capital investments, Biofuels, demand exceeding supply, and increasing demand for liquefied natural gas. Threats are economic slowdown in the U.S. and the European Union, environmental regulations, and alternative energy sources.

Under Porter’s strategy model, Exxon Mobil operates as a broad low-cost-producer. Because the company’s primary products are commodities, any differentiation among competing products is essentially nonexistent. As such, it must compete on the basis of cost and efficiency. The company achieves its cost leadership by competing through technological and operational efficiencies in the areas of exploration, extraction, and refining. The company’s Chemical division operates under a best-value strategy due its leadership in production costs and proprietary chemical and polymer offerings.

This means that many of its chemical products are both differentiated from competitors and achieve cost leadership through synergies gained by combining refining and chemical production operations. I recommend that Exxon Mobile utilize their research and development department to come up with better ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Currently Exxon Mobil is flaring gas in their upstream operations, which is the process of burning surplus associated gas, a blend of hydrocarbon gases brought to the surface during crude oil extraction either as a safety measure or as a means of disposal.

In 2009 their upstream flaring averaged 445 million cubic feet per day, a reduction of about 23 percent from 2008 and a 43-percent improvement from 2005. They are reducing this flaring process but they could do better to eliminate flaring altogether. Exxon Mobil needs to work closely with the Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) to identify technologies that can meet energy demands with dramatically lower greenhouse gas emissions, explorer new ways to produce hydrogen for potential longer term applications ranging from on board vehicles to retail stations and large production facilities, and work close with vehicle manufactures and engine makers on programs that can improve fuel economy.

Exxon Mobil’s 2010 financial data includes total revenue of $383,221,000, Gross Profit of $149,470,000, operating income or loss of $53,218,000, net income of $30,460,000, total assets of $302,510,000, and total liabilities of $155,671,000. (Balance Sheet) In closing Exxon Mobil is a strong company with great profits, they have a massive platform which stretches across the globe.

They engage in exploration, the manufacture of petroleum products and refining, and Exxon has a top-notch management system. They have strong processes for exploring for oil, such as with using sophisticated technologies and best of breed project management practices. They also know how to efficiently allocate capital throughout its organization, in terms of new efforts, and acquisitions.

References: Exxon Background. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.docstoc.com/docs/6787321/exxon-mobile-company-background Exxon Mobil. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.company-statements-slogans.info/list-of-companies-e/exxon-mobil.htm Issues. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.exxonmobil.com/Corporate/about_issues.aspx Five Forces Model.