In his coverage of Halliburton's
A prodigious producer
As for 2010, the company is projecting a very modest production bump of just 1%. Chevron's capital and exploratory budget will also take a dip. The year ahead may not be a standout, but there are pockets of excitement. The company is clearly bullish on Brazil, where it's recently tapped McDermott to begin major construction work on the Papa Terra project, which is joint ventured with Petrobras
An over-achiever …
Turning to ExxonMobil
Of course, ExxonMobil did find one attractive outsized target in the form of XTO Energy
For those wondering whether Exxon is changing their focus, the company had this to say: "We are not shifting away from oil to gas." The company won't discuss its 2010 outlook until next month, but one development to watch on the oil side is the firm's Kearl project, being developed jointly with Imperial Oil. Another is the further delineation of Exxon's Hadrian discovery, which neighbors Anadarko Petroleum's highly promising Lucius field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
... and a rising star
Finally, let's check in on one of the super majors from across the pond. BP
As for the numbers, 2009 upstream production lifted more than 4%. Refining was a stinker, as it was for Valero Energy, ConocoPhillips
As with ExxonMobil, BP won't give a full 2010 outlook until next month's strategy meeting. But it's clear that 2010 is more significant for final investment decisions at fields like Chirag in Azerbaijan and Horn Mountain in the Gulf of Mexico than it is for new project startups. That doesn't mean further exploration successes can't set off fireworks for the firm, of course.
As for the macro outlook, chief executive Tony Hayward called for a "slow and gradual" recovery for the U.S. and European economies, which seems about the best we can hope for. While that's not ideal, each of the above firms is well-equipped to pursue its long-term plans even in the midst of a relatively weak economy. That's just one of the benefits of being Big Oil.