NPRA '02: ExxonMobil exec sees mixed signs on recovery

26 March 2002 00:05  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CNI)--The head of ExxonMobil’s basic chemicals business described economic recovery prospects as "mixed" – calling it too early to predict when a genuine rebound might occur.

Interviewed here at the 27th annual International Petrochemical Conference (IPC), Rich Pisarczyk also told CNI his company is not actively shopping for chemical acquisitions. He said ExxonMobil would study the "right opportunity" if one emerged.

But Pisarczyk also said: "There’s been a number of lower quality assets we have no interest in and there is nothing I have looked at in basic chemicals that has been of interest."

Asked his reaction to criticisms of innovation failings of the US industry levelled earlier in the day by analyst Graham Copley, Pisarczyk said he believes those were focused more on the specialties sector and declined to comment in that area.

But he did say that he feels ExxonMobil has had success with supplied research and development (R&D) "which has served us a little better than he characterised."

Regarding a US recovery in chemical markets, Pisarczyk said: "My view is mixed. It’s difficult to look at the indicators and conclude if there is any underlying strength yet."

He said the industry needs another two months before it can accurately assess the situation.

Sponsored by the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA), the IPC concludes here on Tuesday.

By: Gary Taylor
+1 713 525 2653

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