The world’s top two oil and gas producers are facing growing competition from China as they seek to expand production, but the new year could also herald a dramatic shift in the way energy is produced.
As oil and natural gas production continues to grow, many oil and coal producers are looking to improve their processes, while others are focusing on improving the quality of their products.
Read MoreOn Tuesday, ExxonMobil (XOM) reported fourth-quarter revenue of $5.47 billion, a 2% increase over the same period a year ago.
But the company reported a net loss of $1.5 billion, or $1 per share.
It said that despite a strong quarter, it still has “substantial challenges ahead” for the company.
For years, companies have been investing heavily in equipment to reduce the risk of drilling holes and protect against oil spills.
But as drilling and oil prices have climbed, that equipment has become increasingly expensive and unreliable, making it more costly to operate.
“We will need to invest more in our pipeline and drilling infrastructure to help us avoid this risk,” said ExxonMobil Chief Financial Officer Michael McKenna.
He said that ExxonMobil was investing $1 billion over the next three years to increase the reliability of the pipeline and that the company expects to make further progress on improving its quality and cost.
“The need to improve our pipeline, we are doing that, but we have to improve that pipeline,” McKenna said.
The $1bn in investments, Exxon said, will help “enable us to invest in our pipelines to meet our needs in a timely and cost effective manner,” as well as improving safety and reliability.
The company also expects to invest “at least $500 million” to increase its share price.
ExxonMobil is the largest U.S. oil and chemical company and is among the top two producers of natural gas in the world.
The company also has an extensive pipeline network that stretches from its oil fields in Texas to the Marcellus shale region in Pennsylvania, where it supplies gas to gas and electric utilities.
Exelco is the second-largest oil producer in the United States, behind only ExxonMobil.
It has about $7.3 trillion in assets under management.
In the third quarter, Exxon reported a profit of $9.85 billion, an increase of 6% over the third-quarter of 2017.
It also said that profit jumped from a loss of 9 cents per share to a profit per share of $3.21.
Excelsior Petroleum (EOP) reported third-year earnings of $4.75 billion, up 4% from the same quarter a year earlier.
The Houston-based company said it added about 8,000 full-time employees during the third year of the year, bringing its total workforce to 8,842.
The average age of employees was 45.
In addition, the company said that its share market capitalization rose to $18.9 billion, making the company the second largest U, S. company in the U. S. and second-biggest in the Middle East.
In a note to investors, EOP CEO Doug Ritchey said the company’s financial results for the quarter are strong, but noted that the quarter’s overall results will need some time to adjust to the changing energy landscape.
“With our new outlook for energy supply and demand, our ability to increase our share price, which we believe is a reflection of our ability, and our strong balance sheet, we believe we are well positioned to continue our strong growth trajectory,” Ritchety wrote.
The oil and cement giant is also facing a global glut of oil.
ExxonMobil and the other top producers of crude oil are expected to release new estimates for crude oil prices over the coming weeks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 6.23 points, or 0.9%, at 17,095.25.
The S&P 500 index was up 0.4 points, 2.6%, at 2,933.25 and the Nasdaq composite index was down 0.7 points, 3.9% at 8,638.05.
Read moreAbout The AuthorJennifer A. McEwen is a writer at the New York Times.
She has worked at the company for 17 years.
Follow her on Twitter: @JMcEwenWSJ