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Photo: Kena Betancur/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images

ExxonMobil said it added 4.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent to its proven reserves last year, which is over three times what the multinational giant produced in 2017.

Why it matters: The strong performance represents a major bounce back from some high-profile struggles, notably in 2016 when Exxon was forced to cut reserves by over 3 billion barrels.

  • It also beats their result from the prior year, when the company added enough to replace 183% of annual production.
  • Proven reserves are essentially a metric of what a company can take from the ground under current economic conditions and methods.

The intrigue: The breakdown of the increase also tells a story of Exxon's positioning as it seeks to drive up production sharply over the next half-decade.

  • "Exxon has been struggling to arrest production declines over the past two years after a series of strategic mistakes over the past decade," Bloomberg notes.
  • The company added volumes in the Permian basin, a sign of its growing footprint in shale.

What to watch: Another 1.3 billion primarily came from big offshore fields in Brazil and Guyana. Exxon made huge finds in Guyana and hopes to be producing 750,000 barrels per day there by 2025.

Go deeper: Exxon mulling investing in electric-vehicle charging

Go deeper

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Axios AM Deep Dive: America’s murder surge

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Homicides rose at the fastest rate in at least six decades last year. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by Future correspondent Bryan Walsh, looks at the state of gun crime.