In a bid to adhere to the new marine fuel regulations beginning in 2020, Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM - Free Report) is contemplating a multi-billion dollar investment at the integrated manufacturing facility in Singapore. The upgrade will enable shipping sector comply with the new green rules on fuel.
The rules set by the International Maritime Organization will limit sulphur content to 0.5%, down from current level of 3.5% to curb pollution from the ships.
Since the announcements of the new standards in 2016, the oil refining and shipping industries have been ramping up preparations for the shift and investing heavily.
ExxonMobil’s Singapore refinery is the company’s largest with a capacity of about 592,000 barrels a day. The company also has the biggest integrated petrochemical complex in the country. The upgrade will entail converting lower-value by-products into cleaner ones.
ExxonMobil has already made major investments at various refineries worldwide to augment the production capacity of cleaner fuels with lower sulphur content. In September 2018, the company made a proposal to spend more than $650 million to upgrade the largest oil refinery in the U.K., located in Fawley on the south coast.
Per a source, the cost of compliance has been estimated at around US$60 billion (S$82 billion) per year for the global shipping industry.
The new rules have also provoked reactions at the national level in Singapore, considering the country’s position as a major marine oil supplier.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is working with stakeholders to ensure that the country is prepared to provide low-sulphur compliant fuels ahead of the 2020 global deadline. By mid-2019, the MPA is expected to release a list of licensed suppliers of low-sulphur fuels.
It has also allocated $5 million under the Green Energy Program to support the development and use of cleaner alternative marine fuels such as biofuels and methanol.
In the past year, ExxonMobil’s shares have increased 5.1% compared with the industry’s 12.6% rise.
Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider
ExxonMobil currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (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 (Strong Buy). You can see tthe complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank 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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