Exxon Mobil Corp. doesn't appear to be too worried about its investment in XTO Energy or the future of natural gas, even dry natural gas.
In the company's quarterly earnings conference call with financial analysts Thursday David Rosenthal, Exxon's vice president of investor relations, was asked whether the company might write down the value of the reserves it acquired when it bought Fort Worth-based XTO in June 2010 for $25 billion.
The answer was pretty much, "No." Yes, Rosenthal said, domestic gas production was down and Exxon's was shifting most of its drilling focus in the U.S. to oil and gas fields with lots of potential for producing gas liquids.
"We are managing across the entire portfolio" and continuing to evaluate dry gas fields "while focusing on liquid areas," Rosenthal said.
But Exxon-XTO continues to drill some new dry gas wells to further evaluate and define the boundaries and potential of those fields.
Over the long term, Rosenthal said, Exxon still likes its natural gas holdings because our "outlook is that natural gas prices are not going to remain at this level."
Exxon is continuing to evaluate opportunities for exporting liquefied natural gas from its domestic U.S. fields.