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ExxonMobil Boosts Ultra-Low Sulfur Fuels Yield by 45,000 Bpd

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Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM - Free Report) boosted the production of ultra-low sulfur fuels by about 45,000 barrels per day (bpd) with the start-up of a new unit at the integrated facility in Beaumont, TX.

A proprietary catalyst system has been developed by the company and installed in the facility, which will eradicate sulfur and meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency qualifications while reducing octane loss.

The new unit represents ExxonMobil’s second major investment in Beaumont in less than two years. This unit generated more than 800 construction jobs. The first investment was made in 2016, when the company boosted the capacity of an existing crude unit by 20,000 barrels per day and added the flexibility to light crudes. The projects are part of ExxonMobil’s Growing the Gulf initiative.

By 2019, the company intends to escalate polyethylene manufacturing capacity by 650,000 tons per year. Therefore, it is progressing with front-end engineering, design and other preparatory work to augment the facility’s crude refining capacity. Subject to a final investment decision, construction of the new crude unit is expected to commence in 2019. The project is likely to be brought online by 2022.

The Beaumont facility will benefit from proximity to terminals, railways, pipelines and waterways, courtesy of its strategic position. It will also gain from increased Permian production. The facility has more than 2,000 employees engaged in the refining and chemical manufacturing operations.

Increase in the quantity of locally produced oil and natural gas has considerably lowered energy costs and formed new sources of feedstock for U.S. refining and chemical manufacturing.

Majority of the petroleum-based diesel fuel available in Europe and North America have ultra-low sulfur fuels. The lower sulfur content enables the use of advanced emissions control technologies that reduce harmful emissions from diesel burning. ExxonMobil’s new unit of ultra-low sulfur fuels is in sync with the policies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which aims at lowering emissions.

Price Performance

In the past year, ExxonMobil’s shares have gained 5.3% compared with the industry’s 13.9% increase.


Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider

ExxonMobil currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

A few other top-ranked players in the same sector are Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (PBR - Free Report) or Petrobras SA, Shell Midstream Partners, L.P (SHLX - Free Report) and CNX Resources Corporation (CNX - Free Report) . All these stocks flaunt a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Petrobras is the largest integrated energy firm in Brazil and one of the major players in Latin America. It pulled off an average positive earnings surprise of 10.4% in the last four quarters.

Shell Midstream Partners is involved in owning, operating, developing and acquiring pipelines and other midstream assets. The partnership delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 7.9% in the trailing four quarters.

CNX Resources is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise of 250.0% in the preceding quarter.

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