By Ernest Scheyder
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp said on Thursday its oil and gas reserves surged 19 percent last year, thanks to growth in U.S. shale, the United Arab Emirates and Guyana, with a portfolio large enough to pump for the next 14 years at least.
The reserve update, which is required annually by U.S. regulators, comes as Exxon faces concerns about its growth potential and spending after reporting lower-than-expected quarterly profit last week.
Exxon said it added 2.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) to its proved reserves last year, bringing the total to 21.2 billion boe. Proved reserves are those that are considered economically and geologically feasible to produce in the near future.
"Exxon Mobil's portfolio of development opportunities positions us to grow shareholder value as we bring on new supplies of oil and natural gas to meet growing demand," Chief Executive Darren Woods said in a statement.
Exxon's stock fell about 0.3 percent to $76.69 in morning trading as oil prices and the broader market dipped slightly.
In Texas, where Exxon is headquartered, the company paid more than $6 billion last year to double its acreage in the Permian Basin, the largest U.S. oilfield. That shale deal added more than 800 million boe to reserves, the company said.
Exxon added another 800 million boe to its reserves from operations in the United Arab Emirates's Upper Zakum field.
In Guyana, where Exxon, Hess Corp and other partners have yet to pump oil, the company said it and partners have found recoverable resources, including proved reserves and other resources, estimated to be 3.2 billion boe.
In 2016, Exxon had cut its proved reserves by 3.3 billion boe, mostly due to writedowns in the value of its Canadian oil sands assets amid low oil prices.
Oil prices rebounded in 2017, making some of those assets profitable again. Exxon said about 900 million boe in its portfolio now qualify as proved reserves under U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Guidelines.
Exxon also said it added 9.8 billion boe to its resource base last year. The metric is effectively the company's estimate of how much oil and natural gas exist in acreage that it holds, whether or not the commodities are commercially viable.
The company has been holding talks with a range of countries for expansion opportunities. Late last year Reuters reported that Exxon and Egypt had been holding investment discussions.
(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Bernadette Baum)