ExxonMobil’s new CFO looks to further pay down oil giant’s debt


ExxonMobil is looking to further reduce its debt, evaluating sustainability-linked financing instruments and preparing for potential new climate-related disclosure requirements, finance chief Kathryn Mikells says.

“We’re very focused on paying down debt further, [and] we’ll walk it down a bit more as we enter 2022,” Mikells says in her first interview since she joined the Irving, Texas-based oil-and-gas giant in August.

According to The Wall Street JournalExxonMobil took on about $21 billion in new debt in 2020 in response to the sharp declines in its business caused by the pandemic. The company employs thousands in Baton Rouge and operates the second-largest U.S. oil refinery here.

This year, ExxonMobil has paid down billions, which helped bring its net debt down to $51.83 billion as of Sept. 30, from $68.57 billion at the end of December, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence, a data provider.

Exxon earlier this month said it would pursue a disciplined spending policy for the next five years amid a murky demand outlook as the pandemic persists. The company, which slashed its budget for capital expenditures in 2020, intends to allocate between $20 billion and $25 billion a year for capital investments through 2027, a decrease of 17% to 33% compared with its pre-pandemic plans. Read the full story.