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ExxonMobil Dismisses Non-Essential Staff at PNG LNG Project

Zacks Equity Research

ExxonMobil Corporation XOM has dismissed non-essential staff from its Papua New Guinea (PNG) liquefied natural gas (LNG) project due to turbulence in the area.

The community tension in the Highlands (Hides, Angore, Komo) has forced ExxonMobil to abandon non-essential activities in the region. However, the company refused to provide details relating to the nature of the operations.

The company’s gas-conditioning at Hides is still operational. The plant processes gas before it is transported through a 760-kilometer (472-mile) pipeline to the PNG LNG export plant at Port Moresby.

Per sources, enraged locals stirred unrest in the regions over the nation’s election process earlier in the current year and disagreement over royalties from the PNG LNG project. Last week, a staff of ExxonMobil in Angore was kidnapped but was later released unharmed.

The company is constantly examining the condition in Hela p_rovince as the safety of employees, contractors and the local community is its primary concern.

Oil Search Ltd, the operator of oil and gas fields in the area as well as a partner in PNG LNG stated that its operations have not been affected.

About ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil has a leading position in the energy industry owing to the size and diversity of asset base, in terms of business mix and geographical footprint. With a stable cash position, the company’s balance sheet is considered among the best in the industry. However, due to its integrated functions, the company is susceptible to risk from any weakness in the global economy. Moreover, dependence on costly offshore drilling might dent ExxonMobil’s cash flow.  Shares of the company have returned 6.3% compared with the industry’s release of 9.9% in the last three months.


Zacks Rank

ExxonMobil currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other top-ranked players in the energy sector include BP plc BP, ConocoPhillips COP and Northern Oil and Gas Inc NOG. All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

A major exploration and production company, BP, delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 26.80% in the last four quarters.

ConocoPhillips, based in Houston, TX, is a major global exploration and production (E&P) company. It delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 152.34% in the last four quarters.

Northern Oil and Gas, based in Minnetonka, MN, is an independent energy company. The company delivered an average earnings surprise of 175.00% in the last four quarters.

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