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Image: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP / Getty Images

Breaking out of a debilitating two-year slump with spectacular discoveries in Guyana, ExxonMobil announced today that it added 2.7 billion barrels of proven oil and gas reserves in 2017, replacing 183% of its production.

Why it matters: The result is relief for ExxonMobil which, for decades the standard of Big Oil, has suffered black eye after black eye for performance failures, and begun being treated by Wall Street as a mere mortal on the oil patch.

Exxon said it had 21.2 billion barrels of proven reserves at the end of 2017, 1.2 billion more than the previous year. It said that among the additions were 3.2 oil-equivalent barrels discovered offshore from Guyana, which with the find will become one of the world's newest and most surprising petro-states. This is a significant break for the company:

  • In 2016, the company's reserve replacement was 65%, down 3.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent, partly a result of low prices that made a lot of its proven oil uneconomic to produce. Under SEC rules, that disqualified this oil as booked reserves. For instance, Exxon had to write off its entire 3.5 billion-barrel bitumen project in Alberta, Canada. 
  • In 2015, Exxon replaced only 67%. 

But but but: Exxon still has a ways to go. On Feb. 2, its share price plunged when it reported 2017 earnings that fell short of expectations. Exxon shares rose slightly today, but are still 13% down from its one-year peak on Feb. 1.

Go deeper

House votes to ban imports from Xinjiang over forced labor concerns

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The House voted 428-1 on Wednesday to pass a bill that would ban all imports from the Chinese region of Xinjiang unless the U.S. government determines that the products were not made with forced labor.

Why it matters: Both the Trump and Biden administrations, as well as several foreign parliaments, have recognized China's repression of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang as genocide.

Mark Meadows sues Pelosi, Jan. 6 committee

Then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters after a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Nov. 18, 2020. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows sued House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and all nine members of the Jan. 6 select committee on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The move comes less than a day after the committee moved to hold Meadows in contempt for refusing to cooperate with its investigation of the Capitol riots.

2 hours ago - Technology

The four key moments from Instagram's Hill hearing

Adam Mosseri. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Instagram head Adam Mosseri testified before Senate lawmakers Wednesday and was pressed on the app's impacts on young children and teens.

Why it matters: Legislation to protect kids online is one area Congress has shown it's willing to regulate, as Axios previously reported. Wednesday's back-and-forth gave momentum to lawmakers eager to make more rules for social media platforms and how children and teens can use them.