KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), the world’s largest publicly traded energy company, is considering exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States, CEO Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday.
The company has been North America’s largest natural gas producer since its 2010 purchase of XTO Energy Inc, helped by a boom in output of shale gas.
Asked whether Exxon Mobil planned to export LNG from the United States, Tillerson said: “We are studying it.”
U.S. natural gas prices have hit their lowest in a decade and are expected to remain low for years due in large part to ramped up production from shale reserves.
Tillerson confirmed the company was looking at building the new petrochemical plant in Texas to take advantage of cheap shale gas, but said it had not decided on the level of investment nor whether it would export petrochemicals.
“We will see where the markets are for those chemicals,” he said, speaking at the World Gas Conference in the Malaysian capital.
The plant could be online as soon as 2016, according to a U.S. environmental filing seen by Reuters.
It would sharply crank up Exxon Mobil’s chemical production capacity and help it compete more effectively with rival Dow Chemical Co DOW.N, the largest U.S. chemical maker.
Reporting by Charlie Zhu; Writing by Ed Davies; editing by Miral Fahmy