In a wild and wacky 2008 for the energy industry, there were a couple of constants from recent years.
The first one you likely already know about: ExxonMobil
For the sake of perspective, in 2007, Exxon managed to replace 132% of its production, before taking into account Hugo Chavez's confiscation of a meaningful amount of the company's Venezuelan assets. With that Chavez caper added in, however, the 2007 replacement ratio would have been 101%. Still, despite 2008's crude-price roller coaster and Uncle Hugo's confiscation of assets in the previous year, ExxonMobil has vowed not to cut back on its development spending in 2009.
Reserve replacement numbers among the world's bigger oil companies are beginning to filter in. In addition to Exxon's results, it appears that Chevron
The third-largest company, ConocoPhillips
With crude prices having fallen from $147 a barrel in July to around $35 now, ExxonMobil's shares have slid by a little more than 10% in the past year. That compares favorably to a drop of almost 30% for BP
I'm one who believes that while Fools might decrease their representation in the energy sector somewhat, completely abandoning the group makes little sense. On that basis, I continue to find ExxonMobil's relatively steady share-price performance, its solid management, and its robust balance sheet more compelling than those of any of its Big Oil peers.
I'm going to add another thumbs-up to ExxonMobil's Motley Fool CAPS ranking, which is now four stars. Care to join me?
For related Foolishness: