Exxon Mobil exxposed – External influences

Exxon Mobil is the largest fuels refiner around the world, with about 42,000 retail service stations in more than 100 countries around the globe. Therefore Exxon Mobil plays an important role in providing us human beings with the necessary energy. Ergo Exxon Mobil needs reliable production and transportation systems at all times, even when Mother Nature does her worst.

But what happens when Mother Nature really goes crazy?

Well, for example an Exxon refinery close to Houston was flooded in September 2005 by hurricane ‘Rita’ and had to stay idle until 2006, because of handicapped clearing operations disabled by bad energy supply..
Because of that almost 16% of the U.S. inland refinery capacity were omitted.
But us human beings learn from our mistakes.

After hurricane ‘Katrina’ and its devastating aftermaths,  modified their emergency plans to pre-position emergency electricity generators in case of power disruptions at critical operations, including refineries, pipelines, terminals and certain retail service stations. The company planned to store 50 mobile generations at safe locations, but close enough to provide power to terminals and pipeline operations after a major storm. Even more can be rushed to retail service stations that had lost power. With this Exxon tries to keep the damage after a hurricane very low and get back to the status quo as fast as possible.

“Risks associated with safety, security, health, and the environment are inherent in our business. Recognizing these risks and the critical role of energy supply in an emergency situation, Exxon Mobil takes a disciplined approach to business continuity planning and emergency preparedness.” (Exxonmobil.com)

“Exxon Mobil is committed to conducting business in a manner that protects and promotes the safety of our employees, those involved with our operations and the communities where we work. Therefore we closely monitor storm activity that may impact the areas in which we operate.” (Exxonmobil.com)

But what happens if the oil supply stumbles anyway?

Of course the price raises, how convenient!
After hurricane ‘Rita’ the crude oil price brought the company in the 3rd quarter with a 75% increase in profit to the record profit of 8.2 mill €.
The CEO (during that time) Lee R. Raymond denied any accusations of price rigging follwing the hurricane.

Dear ExxonMobil,
Your ridiculous greed is killing the American economy. It is not coincidental that, while the rest of America is in an economic decline, your business is skyrocketing at an unprecedented rate.
You deal with a basic commodity that everyone needs; so what do you do with this responsibility? You take advantage of people as far as you can get away with it.
I realize that you’ve got your dirty little fingers in American legislature, so you think you’ll get a way with it. You’ve made your billions so you think that inflation won’t affect you. (Planetfeedback.com)

Still the public was puffed up, as this extract from a letter to ExxonMobil shows.
This extract also shows what Miralilka already talked about yesterday, how deeply involved ExxonMobil is with Lobbying.

Certain is, that ExxonMobil has more pull. We do need the oil afterall.
Be it a hurricane, war or any other external influence, ExxonMobil can justify higher prices with anything.
As sad as it is, our need makes us dependent.
The black gold rules.

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5 Responses to Exxon Mobil exxposed – External influences

  1. Very great post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to mention that I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your weblog posts. After all I will be subscribing on your rss feed and I’m hoping you write again very soon!

  2. lilmeu says:

    Hey Kathi 🙂
    It was very interesting to read about ExxonMobile and environment from another point of view. Whereas I wrote about the influences of the company on the environment on Wednesday, you considered the issue the other way around. Very cool! I never thought about how the environment can influence ExxonMobile but indeed, it´s possible!
    I just was shoked that natural disaster can have such devasting outcomes. I guess we all remember the news about the hurricane Katrina in 2005. Of course, this must have influences on the oil industry as well!
    Besides your interesting topic, I really like your way of writing and the quotations of ExxonMobil. Especially “Risks associated with safety, security, health, and the environment are inherent in our business” seems to be somehow not authentic because you see what happen, if an incident occurs.
    Therefore, ExxonMobil has to improve its safety measures.
    Well done! 🙂

  3. Pingback: This week on FastExposure « fastexposure

  4. Mai says:

    I personally think this is a great point of view you tried to highlight since particular this view is mainly ignored when it comes to big energy companies like Exxon. There is always only the view on how they influence the environment in a bad way and not the other view.
    And then your last comment, just great !
    But what do other people say? Especially referring to your last comment, Since you arose the question, it is surely interesting to research what other think of price-rigging. Let us know how it is perceived in the media, by consumers etc.

  5. This video post is actually great, the echo feature and the picture feature of this tape post is truly amazing.

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