In a day and age where ESG greenwashing moves stocks more than actual free cash flow, it shouldn't come as a surprise that an update about its emissions output goals and corporate plan heading toward 2027 has Exxon shares moving higher in Wednesday's pre-market session.
A couple hours before the cash open on Wednesday, a flurry of headlines about Exxon's emission reduction plans hit the wire as part of the company's 2021 Corporate Plan update:
*EXXON TO EXCEED 2025 GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSION-REDUCTION PLANS
*EXXONMOBIL SAYS TO CUT GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS BY ABOUT 20%
*EXXONMOBIL SAYS COMPANY REPAID $11B IN DEBT TO DATE IN 2021
*EXXON TO BOOST SPENDING TO $15B ON EMISSION-CUTTING PROJECTS
*EXXONMOBIL ANNOUNCES CORPORATE PLANS TO 2027
In Exxon's full plan, which can be found on its website here, the company said it "plans to increase spending to $15 billion on greenhouse gas emission-reduction projects over the next six years while maintaining disciplined capital investments."
Bloomberg also noted that Exxon confirmed "it was on track to meet its 2025 greenhouse gas emission-reduction plans by year-end 2021, four years ahead of schedule."
Turning to financials, the oil supermajor said it plans on maintaining capital investments between $20 to $25 billion, per year, through 2027.
The company also said it has repaid $11 billion in debt, to date, in 2021. Exxon says it'll be "comfortably" in its range of targeted debt-to-capital ratio by year end.
These plans, of course, follow our reporting in October that the company was considering abandoning some of its oil and gas projects to appease environmental advocates.
The company's board, we noted in October, which includes three directors nominated by activist investors, had "expressed concerns about certain projects, including a $30 billion liquefied natural gas development in Mozambique and another multibillion-dollar gas project in Vietnam."
The change in strategic direction comes as Exxon's board is facing growing pressure from investors to restrain its fossil fuel investments and limit its carbon footprint. The board is also considering the carbon footprint of the new projects, and how they would affect the company's ability to meet environmental promises it has made.
Back in September we reported that as part of appeasement of the ESG lobby, the oil giant planned on implementing disclosures of shale emissions. The company announced it would start measuring its methane emissions from production of natural gas at a facility it owns in New Mexico. Exxon joins other shale gas producers, like EQT, who already provide similar data.
Bart Cahir, a senior vice president at Exxon Mobil, told Reuters: "Certifying our natural gas will help our customers achieve their goals." The oil major has signed an agreement with "independent measuring firm MiQ to certify 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day" at its New Mexico facilities.