Exxon Mobil Proved Oil Reserves Worth Close to $800 Billion Even at Depressed Prices


Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) submitted a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) showing a gain in the oil and gas giant’s 2015 reserves. The numbers are massive of course. What is really massive here is that the current price of oil now would generate a value of close to $800 billion — with an all-in value projected at close to $2.9 trillion. Exxon also said that its reserves life at the current production rate is now roughly 16 years.

More than a billion oil-equivalent barrels were added to Exxon’s reserves, with a replacement ratio of 67%. The company said that liquids were replaced at a ratio of 219%, comprising some 59% of its total proved reserves — and its 10-year replacement ratio is 115%.

As of the end of 2015, Exxon Mobil’s proved reserves totaled a whopping 24.8 billion oil-equivalent barrels. Liquids represented 59% of the proved reserves, versus 54% in 2014. The 2015 growth in reserves were added in Abu Dhabi, Canada, Kazakhstan and Angola.

Liquid additions during 2015 totaled 1.9 billion barrels, but Exxon did note that its natural gas proved reserves were reduced by 834 million oil-equivalent barrels, primarily in the United States, reflecting the change in natural gas prices. The company said in the filing that it currently expects this gas to be developed and booked as proved reserves in the future.

During 2015, Exxon Mobil added 1.4 billion oil-equivalent barrels to its resource base. The company said that this was through by-the-bit exploration discoveries, as well as undeveloped resource additions and strategic acquisitions. Overall, Exxon Mobil’s resource base totaled more than 91 billion oil-equivalent barrels at year-end 2015.

Let’s do some simple math here to show just what the oil equivalent would be here, and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was last valued at $31.84 per barrel. If its oil reserves are 24.8 billion barrels, here is the value of all that at various oil prices:

  • $20/barrel is worth $496 billion
  • $30/barrel is worth $744 billion
  • $31.84/barrel is worth almost $789 billion
  • $40/barrel is worth $992 billion
  • $50/barrel is worth $1.24 trillion
  • $100/barrel is worth $2.48 trillion

Now take a guess what the value would be at $31.84 if you magically count an all-in total resource base of 91 billion oil equivalent barrels. That would be a hair under $2.9 trillion!

Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer, said in the SEC filing:

ExxonMobil has a successful track record of proved reserves replacement over the long term, demonstrating the strength of our global strategy to identify, evaluate, capture and advance high-quality opportunities. Our proved reserves represent a diverse portfolio that positions us to create shareholder value as we supply long-term energy demand growth. We will continue to apply our disciplined, paced investing approach as we develop our industry-leading resource base.

Exxon shares were seen down 0.7% at $81.83 ahead of Friday’s closing bell. Its market cap at that level was $340 billion, and the stock’s 52-week range is $66.55 to $90.09.

These valuations do not include new proved reserves that the company plans to or could acquire ahead. As a reminder, it has been forecast that Exxon would be a buyer of many oil assets and reserves as they come up for sale during the current panic that is driving companies into fire-sales and bankruptcies.

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