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Exxon to Boost Share Buybacks to $20 Billion Next Year

ExxonMobil plans to accelerate the pace of its share repurchases to $20 billion annually in 2024 as it raises production and generates higher cash flows and earnings, the U.S. supermajor said in a corporate plan update on Wednesday.  

Since 2019, ExxonMobil has added about $10 billion to its annual earnings and cash flow at a real Brent price of $60 per barrel, the company said in the update following the announced acquisition of Pioneer.  

“These improvements provide a strong foundation to further grow annual earnings and cash flow by $14 billion from year-end 2023 through 2027, as the company continues to reduce structural costs and improve the mix of its business by growing production from low-cost-of-supply, advantaged assets and increasing sales of high-value performance chemicals, lower-emission fuels, and performance lubricants,” Exxon said.

Over the next five years, around 90% of Exxon’s planned upstream capital investments in new oil and flowing gas production are expected to generate returns greater than 10% at a Brent price of $35 per barrel, said the company which is growing its oil production in the Permian and Guyana and becomes the top Permian producer with the Pioneer merger.

Exxon expects its oil and gas production to be about 3.8 million oil-equivalent barrels per day in 2024, rising to about 4.2 million oil-equivalent barrels per day by 2027, driven by growth in the Permian and Guyana.  

Higher cash flows and earnings enable additional shareholder distributions, the supermajor said, adding that it remains on track to complete $17.5 billion in share repurchases in 2023 as part of the $35 billion repurchase program previously announced for 2023 and 2024.

After the Pioneer merger closes, Exxon plans to increase the pace of the share buyback program in 2024 to $20 billion annually through 2025, “assuming reasonable market conditions.”

“We remain committed to providing the energy and products that raise living standards around the world while building a new business to reduce emissions in hard-to-decarbonize parts of the economy,” chairman and CEO Darren Woods said.

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“ExxonMobil is uniquely equipped to do both, and we’re confident that both present significant opportunities for profitable growth.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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