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Exxon Mobil Corporation

legal form Corporation
ISIN US30231G1022
founding November 30, 1999
Seat Irving , Texas United States
United StatesUnited States 
management Darren Woods (Chairman and CEO )
Number of employees 74,900 (2019)
sales $ 255.2 billion (2019)
Branch oil and gas
Website www.exxonmobil.com
As of December 31, 2019

Logo from 1972 to 2016

The Exxon Mobil Corporation , shortly ExxonMobil is an American oil company formed by the merger of 1999 Exxon (Standard Oil of New Jersey) and Mobil Oil has arisen (Standard Oil Company of New York). ExxonMobil is considered a direct successor to the Standard Oil Company .

With sales of $ 255.2 billion and a profit of $ 10.8 billion, Exxon Mobil ranks 8th among the world's largest companies according to the Fortune Global 500 (as of 2019). A 2019 study found that ExxonMobil was the fourth-highest company in the world during that period, emitting 41.90 billion tons of CO 2 equivalent since 1965.


ExxonMobil Building in Houston , Texas
Largest companies in the world in 2012 by turnover
Structure of the large corporations in the oil industry

Exxon and Mobil were part of a single company, the Standard Oil Company , owned by John D. Rockefeller in 1882 .

Successor company to the Standard Oil Company

In 1911, the United States Supreme Court ordered the liquidation of Standard Oil. As a result, the Standard Oil Company of New York ( Socony ), which later became Mobil Oil via Socony-Vacuum Oil , and Standard Oil of New Jersey, abbreviated SO (pronounced EssO), later Exxon , emerged as new companies . Both continued to grow legally independent of each other in the decades that followed.

On November 30, 1999, the two now large corporations were able to reunite due to changed legal provisions.

History in Germany

The history of ExxonMobil in Germany began in Bremen in 1890 with the establishment of the German-American Petroleum Society (DAPG, later Deutsche Esso GmbH, merged into ExxonMobil GmbH ), which was to operate Standard Oil's petroleum business in Germany.

1899 followed in Hamburg the establishment of mobile in Germany as German Vacuum Oil Company (1955 Mobil Oil AG in Germany ). The company handled the import and sale of lubricating oils and greases that came from the USA in wooden barrels by ship to Hamburg.

On February 3, 1923, the word ESSO - the phonetic spelling of the abbreviation SO for Standard Oil - was registered as a brand name. In the same year on April 14th, DAPG opened its first street filling station with an underground tank in Hamburg's Wagnerstrasse, where petrol was sold under the brand name Dapolin . In 1925 there were already 1,000 such filling stations in Germany.

With the conversion to the war economy in September 1939, the DAPG worked within the central state control by the Mineral Oil Distribution Working Group (AMV). Gas stations were subordinated to the Central Bureau of mineral oil as a distribution syndicate of AMV and gave motor gasoline only markenlos against tank card or ration card from.

After the end of the Second World War , only a small number of petrol stations were operational, the fleet of ships melted down to a single ship and the number of tank cars decimated by 2/3. The production facilities, repeatedly the target of heavy air raids by the Allies, were badly damaged.

In 1950 the German-American Petroleum Company (DAPG) changed its name to ESSO AG . 1953 begins German Vacuum Oil Company with the gas exploration and extraction in Germany and in 1955 to Mobil Oil AG

In 1965 , the tiger appeared as an advertising figure with the slogan Pack the tiger in the tank at all Esso stations in Europe that sell Esso Extra fuel .

In 1985, Esso Tankschiff Reederei GmbH (ETR, originally Waried Tankschiff Rhederei) sold Esso Deutschland, their last ocean-going tanker. All inland vessels were sold by the end of 1993 and the shipping company was dissolved on January 1, 1994.

In 1999 the two American companies Exxon Corporation and Mobil Corporation merged to form Exxon Mobil Corporation . Its Esso and Mobil subsidiaries in Germany were merged in 2000 under the umbrella of the newly founded ExxonMobil Central Europe Holding GmbH, based in Hamburg. Since 2002, the production activities have been combined in ExxonMobil Production Deutschland GmbH.

In 2010 the Austrian petrol station network was sold to the Italian ENI / Agip . In 2012 SOCAR Energy Switzerland took over Esso Schweiz GmbH from ExxonMobil. In 2014, Esso had 1051 petrol stations in Germany.

On November 29, 2017, ExxonMobil announced that it would sell its German petrol station network to the British EG Group by the end of 2018. Exxon will continue to supply fuel to the gas stations under the new ownership.

Economic data

ExxonMobil has been making high profits for several years and is therefore regularly one of the most valuable companies in the world , measured by market capitalization , according to the Financial Times Global 500 list . The company's total market cap in early 2017 was $ 343.2 billion.

The company's turnover fluctuates strongly, depending on the respective oil prices . In 2007, based on purchasing power , it corresponded to the GDP of Belgium . In fiscal 2008, ExxonMobil posted $ 45.22 billion in profit, the highest profit any non-state company has ever made. In the 2016 financial year it was still $ 7.8 billion due to the lower oil price.

Shareholder structure: The company's main shareholders are funds and institutional investors, none of whom own more than 4%.

Global competitors are oil companies such as BP ( Great Britain ), Total ( France ), Chevron Corporation ( USA ), ConocoPhillips ( USA ), ENI ( Italy ) and Royal Dutch Shell ( Netherlands / Great Britain ). In Scandinavia the Statoil group ( Norway ), as well as Lukoil and Gazprom in Russia . There are also state corporations such as Saudi Aramco and China National Petroleum Corporation .

With an annual production of over nine million tons of polyolefins , the company is the world market leader in this field.

Development of the business figures 2003–2018
year Sales
in billion US dollars
in billions of dollars
in billions of dollars
Market value
in billion US dollars
2003 237 21.5 174 234
2004 291 25.3 195 269
2005 359 36.1 208 328
2006 365 39.5 219 ...
2007 390 40.6 242 ...
2008 460 45.2 228 504
2009 302 19.3 233 397
2010 370 30.5 303 322
2011 467 41.1 331 364
2012 452 44.9 334 385
2013 421 32.6 347 390
2014 394 32.5 349 439
2015 259 16.1 337 388
2016 219 7.8 330 324
2017 244 19.7 349 341
2018 290 20.8 346 ...

Group structure / company investments

The Esso logo
The Mobil logo

Exxon Mobil Corporation

  • ExxonMobil Central Europe Holding GmbH, Hamburg (100%)
    • ESSO Germany GmbH, Hamburg
      • Several Eastern European companies and various sales companies
    • Mobil Erdgas-Erdöl GmbH, Hamburg
      • ExxonMobil Gas Marketing Deutschland GmbH, Hanover
    • ExxonMobil Production Deutschland GmbH, Hanover

ExxonMobil is functionally divided into three areas with subdivisions:

  • Upstream (Houston, TX)
    • ExxonMobil Exploration Company
    • ExxonMobil Development Company
    • ExxonMobil Production Company
    • ExxonMobil Aftermath Entertainment
    • ExxonMobil Gas and Power Marketing Company
    • ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company
  • Downstream (Fairfax, VA)
    • ExxonMobil Refining and Supply Company
    • ExxonMobil Fuels Marketing Company
    • ExxonMobil Lubricants & Specialties Company
    • ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company
    • ExxonMobil Global Services Company
  • Chemical (Houston, TX)
    • ExxonMobil Chemical Company
ExxonMobil Refinery in Baton Rouge

Activities outside of the United States


Rex Tillerson and Vladimir Putin, 2012

The subsidiary Exxon Neftegas Ltd. has played a leading role in the Sakhalin I project for the production of oil and natural gas near the island of Sakhalin since 2001 .

In 2011, ExxonMobil became the first foreign company to sign a contract to develop extensive oil and gas reserves in East Prinowosemelski in the Arctic , and in Tuapse on the Black Sea with a total committed investment of 3.2 billion US dollars. In 2014, Exxon Mobil ended its involvement due to sanctions against Russia.


Since 1994, Exxon Mobil has been part of the Azerbaijan International Operating Company consortium, which operates several pipelines in Azerbaijan.


According to former Exxon boss Rex W. Tillerson ( appointed Secretary of State of the United States by the new US President Donald Trump in February 2017 ), the world's oil reserves will last for another 160 years if consumption continues to increase; half of this calculation, however, still accounts for undiscovered deposits ( see also carbon bubble , peak oil ).

In March 2014, the critical shareholder associations Arjuna Capital and As You Sow requested Exxon to take precautions in the event that large parts of the company's own oil reserves could no longer be extracted. The background is the so-called carbon bubble , a potential stock market bubble . This results from the incompatibility of the CO 2 emission reductions required to achieve the internationally agreed 2 ° C climate protection target on the one hand and the much larger amount of fossil reserves of the oil, gas and coal industries on the other. Instead of new investments in, in their opinion, no longer recoverable oil deposits, they demanded a higher dividend or other reimbursement to the shareholders.

Exxon then stated that it saw no risk of 'stranded investments' as both the world's population and global energy demand would continue to grow.

The Carbon Tracker Initiative, on whose report on the carbon bubble the shareholders' arguments were based, accuses Exxon of underestimating the dangers, especially so-called "high cost high carbon" investments. Falling oil prices and / or stricter climate protection requirements could mean that these could no longer be economically promoted.

The Rockefeller family, one of the last major US industrial dynasties, plans to divest its shares in Exxon by 2017. More than a century ago, John D. Rockefeller Sr. made a tremendous fortune with Standard Oil , an Exxon forerunner, considered the richest man of all time. In a statement it said: "We cannot be associated with a company that appears to show contempt for the public interest." The reason for the step is the existential threat that humanity and the natural ecosystem would be exposed to from climate change . "It makes no sense - financially or ethically - to continue investing in these companies while the global community is pushing the move away from fossil fuels." The statement closes with an appeal: "It is overdue for all people to join forces and do this take a new path that recognizes the connection between the future of humanity and the health of our ecosystem. "

Environmental balance and activities

Position on global warming

Spread of climate change denial

ExxonMobil is seen in the scientific literature as one of the most influential sponsors of climate "skeptical" positions . From 1998 to 2005, the American Enterprise Institute received $ 1.6 million of this . This offered scientists US $ 10,000 as well as expenses for reports that question the UN's climate report . One of the sponsored people is Willie Soon , whose work many "climate skeptics" cite as evidence against man-made global warming, whereas climate researchers reject his work because of serious methodological and substantive deficiencies. Exxon Mobil and the General Directorate Internal Market won the Worst EU Lobby Award 2006. This emphasized the oil company's constant endeavors to prevent a fair public debate on climate protection based on business interests.

In fact, ExxonMobil invested tens of millions in front groups to help climate deniers cover up science. The company also put pressure on the Bush administration to remove climate scientists from the IPCC. A 2015 listing lists more than 70 climate denial organizations to which ExxonMobil donated nearly $ 34 million between 1997 and 2015. Important recipients included the American Enterprise Institute , the Competitive Enterprise Institute , the George C. Marshall Institute , the Heritage Foundation , the Heartland Institute and the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow , all of which received at least half a million dollars. The front runner was the AEI with around 4.2 million dollars.

In 2008, under pressure from its shareholders, ExxonMobil declared that it would no longer fund front groups that raised doubts about climate change. In fact, this funding continued until at least 2019. In 2009, the group was also the main financier of a lobbying campaign against a comprehensive climate protection law introduced by the Obama administration, in which the oil and gas industry invested half a billion dollars in lobbying against the proposed energy laws. In 2014, according to information from researchers at MIT and Harvard University , the company paid several hundred thousand dollars for spreading false information about climate change. In 2018, the group gave around $ 770,000 to a total of 10 climate denial organizations, the majority of which to the United States Chamber of Commerce and the American Enterprise Institute. In 2017, the contribution was roughly double. In addition, of the $ 1.65 million it donated to Congressmen in the 2017/18 election period , the company spent two-thirds on politicians who deny climate change.

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson , who was in office until his appointment as Secretary of State in February 2017, called climate change an "engineering problem". In 2012 he advised B. Farmers to look for new areas for growing grain.

Knowledge of climate change

Exxon, on the other hand, was aware of man-made global warming and its negative consequences. According to research published by journalist Neela Banerjee on Inside Climate News in September 2015, entitled Exxon: The Road Not Taken, Henry Shaw was at a hearing on climate change in 1979 in the US Senate with it. He is the author of a previously published study on the CO 2 concentration in the earth's atmosphere collected by Exxon on a supertanker voyage between the Caribbean and the Persian Gulf . According to her, "Exxon knew since the mid-1970s that the burning of fossil fuels increases the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, that those increased concentrations warm the planet and that this warming could have very negative consequences for most of the world".

However, ExxonMobil deliberately deceived the public about these facts, as a comparison of internal and public communications from 1977-2014 showed. While over 80% of internal news and scientific papers acknowledged the state of the art , namely that current climate change is happening and human activity is causing it, almost 80% of the advertorials purchased by Exxon - editorially designed advertisements - spread doubts about climate change and the causes of it Greenhouse gases. The more the reports were intended for the public, the more they sowed doubts. Previously, scientists at the company and an in-house research program that Exxon ran from 1978 through the late 1980s had confirmed that CO 2 emissions lead to climate change . In fact, Exxon's predictions for the rise in carbon dioxide and temperature were almost exactly in line with the actual trend. In 1982, for example, Exxon expected a CO 2 share of almost 420 ppm and a warming of 0.9 degrees compared to a pre-industrial reference value for 2019 . In fact, the CO 2 percentage at this point in time was 415 ppm, and the 0.9 degree warming forecast by Exxon was reached in 2017.

Judicial investigations into investor fraud and consumer protection violations

In 2016, the New York attorney general opened an investigation into ExxonMobil. The question is whether the group has misled its shareholders about the climate dangers since the 1980s (then still as Exxon ). The California, Massachusetts and Virgin Islands prosecutors followed New York and also started investigations.

A short time later, the Massachusetts attorney general began her own investigation; their focus is on potential violations of US consumer law .

Exxon then sued the Massachusetts and New York attorneys general in a court in its Texas home to stop the ongoing investigation, an unprecedented process. After the court did not immediately deny the lawsuit, Exxon filed subpoenas against eleven non-governmental organizations , foundations and lawyers . Those subpoenas were frozen after the Texas judge remitted Exxon's lawsuit in New York and Boston courts .

In October 2019, scientist Martin Hoffert, who worked as a scientific advisor to Exxon in the 1980s, testified before the US House of Representatives that Exxon had "spreading doubts about the dangers of climate change" and that it was "wrong". The "consequence of this disinformation" was to "delay internal and external action". As a result of this, he said, "homes and livelihoods are likely to be destroyed and lives will be lost".


Arkansas oil pipeline rupture

In March 2013, an ExxonMobil pipeline transporting heavy oil from the Wabasca oil field in northern Alberta through the US state of Arkansas broke . Journalists who tried to cover the case were threatened.

Methane leak in the North Sea

Since November 20, 1990, methane has been flowing in large quantities from a deposit around 400 meters below the North Sea, around 140 kilometers off the coast of Scotland. It was created when the Stena Drilling Company, on behalf of Exxon subsidiary Mobil North Sea, triggered a blowout in an oil well with the High Seas Driller platform .

Contamination of Newtown Creek

Due to leaking pipes, rusting oil tanks and the lack of measures to protect the groundwater, large parts of Newtown Creek near New York City were contaminated with toxic chemicals and oil, including lead, benzene and kerosene , in January 2007 . On Exxon's old Brooklyn facility, oil had seeped into the ground for decades and spread to the groundwater under a residential neighborhood. Vapors rise from the basements and sewers, causing serious health problems among residents. The ExxonMobil group had to answer at the time - due to class actions by the New York population - in court. The city of New York also initiated an environmental study after amicable negotiations with the company had failed. The US Department of Justice was considering a lawsuit. Exxon had already started pumping out the poisonous layer, but was then criticized for questionable removal measures.


Sinking oil platform "Thunder Horse"
Cleansing the oil-polluted rocks after the
Exxon Valdez disaster

In the Black Book of Branded Firms , the US group is accused of financing civil wars and the associated arms trade, as well as destroying livelihoods in oil production areas.

According to Greenpeace , ExxonMobil is abusing its concentrated economic power against climate protection, environmental interests and human rights. The oil company is accused of massively hindering international climate protection, which has been confirmed by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a scientific association with 200,000 members in the USA.


ExxonMobil is one of the largest users of the fracking method in the US and increasingly in Europe. In early 2014, it was announced that ExxonMobil's CEO Rex Tillerson had joined a lawsuit against a fracking project near his ranch in Bartonville, Texas . He stated that this could affect the value of his property. As a result, Tillerson and ExxonMobil were criticized in the US business magazine Forbes :

“Sometimes the hypocrisy expressed in real life is so overwhelmingly productive that one could never have hoped to create a similar scenario out of pure imagination. Meet Rex Tillerson, the CEO of oil and gas group superstar ExxonMobil, the largest natural gas producer in this United States of America and a nascent giant in the world of exquisite hypocrisy. "

"Sometimes, the hypocrisy expressed in real life is so sublimely rich that one could never hope to construct a similar scenario out of pure imagination. Meet Rex Tillerson, the CEO of oil and gas superstar ExxonMobile Corporation - the largest natural gas producer in these United States of America — and a newly emerging giant in the world of exquisite hypocrisy. "

- Forbes

Controversial drilling in the Arctic

ExxonMobil started a new project with Russian energy company Rosneft in the Arctic in 2014 . This form of oil production in the Arctic is very controversial for ecological reasons (slower breakdown of oil in the event of an accident). In addition, the US government has imposed economic sanctions on Russia due to the war in Ukraine .

See also

History of the oil companies:

Web links

Commons : Category ExxonMobil  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

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