Exxon Renews U.S. Gulf of Mexico Exploration For Oil

Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s largest energy company by market value, is boosting exploration for oil in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico five years after dismissing the region as too costly.

Technological breakthroughs in seismic imaging have enabled Exxon’s geologists and engineers to more thoroughly assess subsea crude deposits that previously eluded them in the deepest parts of the Gulf, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson said in a meeting with reporters in Dallas today.

“We’ve re-entered in a very active way the Gulf of Mexico,” Tillerson said. His comments followed the Irving, Texas-based company’s annual shareholders meeting.

In March 2008, Tillerson said the discoveries being made in the Gulf weren’t large enough to justify the costs of erecting production platforms and installing pipelines. Energy explorers needed to “cobble together” individual discoveries to make pumping oil and natural gas to the surface profitable, he said at the time.