Majors Take Integrated Approach To US Shale Boom, Gulf NOCs Join The Ride

Oil majors are not only increasingly dominant in upstream output from Texas’ key Permian basin, they are also pioneering an integrated development model with key midstream and downstream assets. Gulf NOCs are playing a supporting role.

Exxon is ramping up its Permian ambitions. Together with deepwater Guyana and Brazil, the Permian forms the centerpiece of the major’s investment plans. Exxon only went big on the Permian with the $6.6bn purchase of key acreage in early 2017. But its Permian output rose 93% year-on-year to 300,000 boe/d (of which around 80% is liquids) for Q4 2018 with the firm now targeting 600,000 boe/d of Permian output by 2025.

Exxon is working with Plains All American to build a 1mn b/d pipeline to link the Permian with its refineries at Beaumont and Baytown, just south of Houston 80km to the west. On 28 January it approved plans to hike capacity at Beaumont from 365,000 b/d with the addition of a third, 250,000 b/d, CDU. This will take the plant’s capacity to 615,000 b/d, just shy of the US’ largest plant, Saudi Aramco’s 635,000 b/d Motiva refinery in Port Arthur 20km to the south, where Aramco also plans shale-fueled expansion ( MEES, 4 January ) (CONTINUED - 1057 WORDS)