ExxonMobil focuses on integration

EM right.jpgExxonMobil Chemicals was 6th in the ICIS list of Top 100 companies in 2002, during the last downturn. By last year, it had risen to 2nd place, according to the latest ICIS list.

One of the secrets of its success was set out in an interesting Bloomberg interview yesterday with Basic Chemicals SVP, TJ Wojnar. This made it clear that EM is focusing ever more intensively on optimising production along the refining/petchem interface. Thus Wojnar noted that “the company would only consider buying plants that can be connected directly to Exxon Mobil oil refineries”, in order to ensure that “by-products of the refining process can be turned into chemicals when fuel demand and prices are low”.

Wojnar also gave an interesting example of this strategy in action, revealing that over the past 3 weeks, EM has been increasing the amount of refinery-produced vacuum gasoil (VGO) used in ethylene/polyethylene production, due to slowing gasoline demand. As he noted, the rationale for this move was simple, that “VGO is in surplus”, and so it made sense for the company to take advantage of the lower feedstock cost..

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. He also serves as a Global Expert for the World Economic Forum. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry and the global economy over the next 12 – 18 months. It looks behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in critical areas such as oil prices, China and Emerging Markets, currencies, autos, housing, economic growth and the environment. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.


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