What to Watch

Exxon to Spend Billions in U.S.

U.S. oil-and-gas giant Exxon Mobil Corp. said Monday it plans to invest $50 billion in the U.S. over the next five years, a strategy that was “enhanced” by Congress’s recent tax overhaul, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Bradley Olson.

“We’re actively evaluating the impact of the lower tax rate on the economics of several other projects currently in the planning stages to further expand our facilities along the Gulf Coast,” Exxon Chief Executive Darren Woods wrote in a blog post.

Mr. Woods suggested the company would spend billions to increase production at its drilling operations in West Texas and New Mexico. Exxon last year spent nearly $6 billion to expand its holdings in that area.

Energy News

Oil Falls on Back of Rising U.S. Production

 Growing market concerns over burgeoning U.S. crude production pushed down oil prices Tuesday morning.

“Oversupply is becoming the problem—with more and more U.S. crude we are going to be drowning in oil,” said Ehsan Ul-Haq, director for crude oil and refined products at Resource Economist Ltd.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 0.29% at $69.01 a barrel on London’s Intercontinental Exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading down by 0.72% at $65.09 a barrel.

Europe’s Natural Gas Market Shifts Toward Italy

 Italian natural-gas pipeline operator Snam SpA is helping transform Italy into a gas hub, as the market shifts away from the U.K., Bloomberg reports.

“Fortified with new supplies due from a $5.6 billion pipeline link to the Caspian Sea as well as tankers full of gas in its liquid form, Snam SpA and its Chief Executive Officer Marco Alvera are seeking to place Italy at the crossroads of Europe’s gas trade,” the reporters write.

“With more and more U.S. crude, we are going to be drowning in oil.”

Ehsan Ul-Haq, Director, Crude Oil & Refined Products, Resource Economist Ltd.

Chinese Firm to Open U.S. Solar Plant

Chinese solar manufacturer JinkSolar Holding Co. said Monday it intends toopen an “advanced solar manufacturing facility” in the U.S., reports The Wall Street Journal’s Erin Ailworth.

The announcement comes just a week after President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on imported solar panels.

WSJ Energy In-Depth

Waymo to Acquire Fiat Chrysler’s Self-Driving Minivans

 Waymo LLC, the self-driving tech unit of Google-parent Alphabet Inc., said Tuesday it has agreed to acquire thousands of minivans from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV for delivery later this year, reports Tim Higgins.

Waymo has equipped cars with its driverless technology in 25 U.S. cities for testing, as it prepares to open its driverless ride-hailing service to the general public.

Big Number

$50 Billion

Exxon Mobil Crop. said Monday it plans to invest $50 billion to grow its business in the U.S. over the next five years.


Today: The American Petroleum Institute releases its weekly forecast of U.S. crude inventories.

Wednesday: The U.S. Energy Information Administration releases official weekly data on petroleum inventories and production.

Friday: Baker Hughes releases weekly data on the number of active oil rigs in the U.S.

Reporter’s Notebook

Wall Street Journal reporter Dan Molinski on U.S. oil production data. The U.S. Energy Information Administration, which faced criticism last year for purportedly overstating its weekly U.S. oil production estimates and thus hurting oil prices, said it will start reporting weekly U.S. production estimates with a figure rounded to the nearest 100,000 barrels. So last week’s production estimate of 9.878 million barrels a day would instead be reported as simply 9.9 million barrels. The change is designed to highlight that weekly production numbers are just estimates, and less reliable than monthly reports. The EIA acknowledged it overestimated production in its weekly reports by 2% for five straight months starting in April 2017 but said it underestimated on other occasions, thus proving there’s no bias.

Wall Street Journal reporter Christopher Matthews on oil transportation. Washington Governor Jay Inslee rejected a plan for a huge oil-by-rail terminal proposed by Andeavor, formerly know as Tesoro Corp. Mr. Inslee followed the recommendation of a state energy panel to reject the company’s application to build the terminal, citing earthquake risks and the potential for an oil spill in the Columbia River. Andeavor had proposed the site, along with Savage Companies, in 2012 and it would have been one of the country’s largest oil export facilities, receiving 11 million barrels of oil per month for transfer to tankers in the Port of Vancouver.