From the stock pickers at Fidelity to those of us toiling as individual investors, we're all intent upon stocking our portfolios with good companies that will grow in value over time. That being the case, it's probably stating the obvious to say that we spend far too much time concerning ourselves with quarterly earnings, and expend far too little effort really getting to know the individual companies in which we invest.
Now, since we're blessedly about to emerge from yet another earnings season, and since I've repeatedly talked about the wisdom of including ExxonMobil
First, you should know that the company replaced 122% of its production in 2006. That means, quite simply -- but importantly -- that ExxonMobil produced 1.6 billion oil equivalent barrels during the year (976 million barrels of liquids and 3.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, to be specific). But that production was replaced 1.22 times over with new discoveries that totaled approximately 1.95 oil equivalent barrels.
Don't be confused by the term "oil equivalent barrels." Often referred to by its shorthand, BOE, it's simply a measure that allows other hydrocarbons, such as condensate and natural-gas liquids, to be included in the calculation of energy resources.
Not surprisingly, the company's most significant reserve additions came from the Asia Pacific/Middle East region. For instance, the company reached an agreement with the government in Qatar to expand the Al Khaleej gas project. And in the United Arab Emirates, ExxonMobil attained a 28% interest in the Upper Zakum field development through a selection process conducted by Abu Dhabi National Oil.
In addition, the company realized reserve addition in producing nations including Angola, Nigeria, Norway, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, and Russia. In total, the company had 22.7 billion barrels of proven oil and gas reserves at the end of 2006.
ExxonMobil's other significant announcement was that the Sakhalin-1 project, off the shores of Eastern Russia and led by its subsidiary Exxon Neftegas Limited, has reached its targeted peak production rate of 250,000 barrels of oil per day. A number of major state and international oil companies -- including Royal Dutch Shell
Projects such as Sakhalin represent the world's best hope for moving from total production of 84 million to 85 million barrels per day currently to the 120 million daily barrels that forecasters predict we will need by 2030. As such, I remain convinced that, given its ability to range far and wide in the quest of new reserves and production, ExxonMobil -- and perhaps such other international players as Chevron
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Fool contributor David Lee Smith does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He welcomes your questions and comments.