Mar 7, 2019

ExxonMobil plans a massive spending boost

Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

ExxonMobil yesterday announced plans to boost capital spending in coming years as the multinational giant seeks to develop massive resources in the shale patch and offshore in South America.

Why it matters: Exxon said its capital expenditure (capex) would be $30 billion this year and up to $35 billion annually through 2025. The updated capex stands in contrast to more thrifty (by massive-industry standards) plans by some other companies, including rival Chevron.

  • "Our investments reflect quality opportunities secured when much of the industry pulled back with the last downturn in the commodity price cycle," Exxon CEO Darren Woods told investors in remarks Wednesday.

But, but, but: The company's stock dipped slightly yesterday.

  • "With investors increasingly pressuring energy companies to return cash to shareholders, it is no surprise that the higher capital budget was not positively received by the market," Raymond James analyst Muhammed Ghulam told Reuters.

The big picture: "Exxon is doing nothing less than an overhaul of the portfolio, as might be expected after a few years of setbacks. When you're this big — the size of an OPEC producer — that costs money," notes Bloomberg columnist Liam Denning.

Go deeper: The Houston Chronicle has more here.

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Debate night: Candidates' last face-off before Super Tuesday

Sanders, Biden, Klobuchar and Steyer in South Carolina on Feb. 25. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders wanted to keep his momentum after winning contests in New Hampshire and Nevada, while former Vice President Joe Biden hoped to keep his own campaign alive. The other five candidates were just trying to hang on.

What's happening: Seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination were in Charleston, South Carolina, for the tenth debate, just days before the South Carolina primary and a week before Super Tuesday. They spoke, sometimes over each other, about health care, Russian interference in the election, foreign policy the economy, gun control, marijuana, education, and race.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 32 mins ago - Politics & Policy

4 takeaways from the South Carolina debate

Former Vice President Joe Biden, right, makes a point during Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders listens. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The 10th Democratic debate was billed as the most consequential of the primary thus far, but Tuesday night's high-stakes affair was at times awkward and unfocused as moderators struggled to rein in candidates desperate to make one last splash before Saturday's primary in South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

The big picture: After cementing himself as the Democratic favorite with a sweeping win in Nevada, Sen. Bernie Sanders came under fire as the front-runner for the first time on the debate stage. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who will be on the ballot for the first time next Tuesday, was a progressive foil once again, but he appeared more prepared after taking a drubbing at the Nevada debate.

Coronavirus spreads to Africa as U.S. soldier in South Korea tests positive

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

A 23-year-old American soldier stationed at Camp Carroll in South Korea has tested positive to the novel coronavirus, as the outbreak spreads to more countries.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 80,000 others, mostly in mainland China. Public health officials confirmed Tuesday the U.S. has 57 people with the novel coronavirus, mostly those repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health