I’m pleased to be here to discuss strategies for a sustainable future.
As leaders of this industry, we face a variety of challenges, from weak global economies to rising public concerns about the safety of our products. But in every country I visit, the conversation quickly turns to shale gas and its impact on the chemical business.
Without question, the reversal of fortunes of the American chemical industry is one of the most remarkable stories flowing from the growth in unconventional oil and gas.
Today, I’ll share my perspective on this new energy landscape and the renaissance in American chemistry that it has ignited.
And looking beyond today’s shale gas advantage, I’ll also address how chemical companies around the world can sustain leading performance over the peaks and valleys of the business cycle.
The Big Picture
Let me start with the big picture.
The world is on the cusp of a new age of unconventional energy. It is transforming America’s energy future, unleashing economic growth, and improving the environment.
That energy future will be built on oil and natural gas. U.S. proven reserves of natural gas have grown close to 50 percent since 2005. We now have close to a century’s worth of supply.
Equally impressive is the growing production of unconventional oil, which by next year will have nearly halved U.S. oil and liquid fuel imports. ExxonMobil sees real prospects for North America transitioning to a net energy exporter by 2025.
Liquefied natural gas exports will be part of that picture. For example, an ExxonMobil joint venture here in Texas has proposed a world-class LNG export project. This $10 billion investment would generate an estimated $31 billion in economic gains over the life of the project. This includes 45,000 direct and indirect jobs during the five-year construction period, and thousands more permanent jobs as well.