XOM - Exxon Mobil Corporation

NYSE - NYSE Delayed price. Currency in USD
+1.10 (+1.61%)
At close: 4:03PM EST
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Previous close68.41
Bid69.50 x 1000
Ask69.60 x 1400
Day's range68.76 - 69.83
52-week range64.65 - 83.49
Avg. volume11,312,480
Market cap294.104B
Beta (3Y monthly)1.00
PE ratio (TTM)20.25
Earnings dateN/A
Forward dividend & yield3.48 (5.09%)
Ex-dividend date2019-11-08
1y target estN/A
  • Oil Jumps On ‘’Saudi Surprise’’

    Oil Jumps On ‘’Saudi Surprise’’

    Oil prices rose on Friday morning, fueled by optimism about the new OPEC+ deal and the Saudi promise to, once again, overcomply with their production quota

  • Oil Surges After Saudis Surprise Market With Additional Cuts

    Oil Surges After Saudis Surprise Market With Additional Cuts

    (Bloomberg) -- Oil in New York posted the biggest weekly gain since June after Saudi Arabia surprised the market with a significant supply cut beyond what was agreed to with fellow OPEC+ members.WTI settled 1.3% higher on Friday after Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the country would continue its voluntary cut of 400,000 barrels a day. That brings total cuts implemented by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to 2.1 million barrels a day, he said.“The comments are what drove the market up,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Mass. “Total cuts are larger and substantially better than what the market was expecting.”After the announcement, Prince Abdulaziz predicted that Saudi Aramco, which just completed an IPO at a valuation of $1.7 trillion, would soon soar above $2 trillion. The kingdom plans to pump 9.7 million barrels a day, he said. The additional supply reduction would take the kingdom’s production down to levels not seen on a sustained basis since 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Still, prices surrendered some of their early gains after the initial surge. “Investors have other concerns limiting the upside including what will come of trade over the weekend,” said Rob Haworth, who helps oversee $151 billion at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Seattle.While OPEC+ is taking 500,000 barrels a day out of the market, they are taking it out because demand isn’t there, he added. “They were crowded out by non-OPEC output, like U.S. output. So, it should be a more bearish scenario for prices.”West Texas Intermediate for January delivery settled up 77 cents to $59.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The U.S. benchmark rose 7.3% for the week. Brent for February settlement gained $1 to $64.39 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe Exchange, registering the largest weekly gain since late October. The global benchmark traded at a $5.29 premium to WTI for the same month.To contact the reporter on this story: Sheela Tobben in New York at vtobben@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Marino at dmarino4@bloomberg.net, Mike Jeffers, Catherine TraywickFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: ExxonMobil, Starbucks, Diageo, Fidelity National Information Services and Colgate-Palmolive

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: ExxonMobil, Starbucks, Diageo, Fidelity National Information Services and Colgate-Palmolive

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: ExxonMobil, Starbucks, Diageo, Fidelity National Information Services and Colgate-Palmolive

  • ExxonMobil to Commence 31-Well Exploration Program in Guyana

    ExxonMobil to Commence 31-Well Exploration Program in Guyana

    ExxonMobil (XOM) has made 14 discoveries at the Stabroek block, wherein recoverable reserves are estimated to be more than 6 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

  • It's Official: Saudi Aramco to Become the Biggest IPO Ever

    It's Official: Saudi Aramco to Become the Biggest IPO Ever

    Saudi Aramco, which is set to trade on the Riyadh stock market, beat the previous record held by Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba.

  • Oilprice.com

    Six Oil Stocks To Survive The Shale Bust

    The U.S. shale patch is showing serious signs of financial distress, but a few companies continue to drill profitably for oil & gas in America’s most prolific shale basins

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    Oil companies press Mexican president to resume suspended auctions

    Big oil companies operating in Mexico have launched a drive to convince leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to resume auctions of oil and gas contracts he has branded a failure in reviving the industry. Chevron Corp, Exxon Mobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, among other firms in Mexico's Association of Hydrocarbon Companies (Amexhi), say they have met output targets and investment pledges worth hundreds of millions of dollars in the initial phases of their contracts. "We've been complying (with contractual obligations), and by any metric you look at, we've been successful," Amexhi President Alberto de la Fuente told reporters this week.

  • Top Stock Reports for ExxonMobil, Starbucks & Diageo

    Top Stock Reports for ExxonMobil, Starbucks & Diageo

    Top Stock Reports for ExxonMobil, Starbucks & Diageo

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    Canada's Parex, Ecopetrol among winners in Colombia oil round

    Companies including Canada's Parex Resources and Ecopetrol SA won contracts to operate oil blocks in Colombia’s auction round on Thursday, as the Andean nation seeks to reinvigorate its petroleum sector. Ecopetrol and its subsidiary Hocol SA, Frontera Energy Corp and Amerisur Resources Plc were all awarded one contract each, the national hydrocarbons agency (ANH) said, after their initial bids did not receive counter-offers. Other successful bidders included Gran Tierra Energy , and Parex, who were awarded two contracts each, while CNE Oil and Gas SAS was awarded three contracts.

  • Oil Price Gains 4.2% in a Day: What's Behind the Rally?

    Oil Price Gains 4.2% in a Day: What's Behind the Rally?

    EIA's Weekly Petroleum Status Report shows a much bigger-than-expected drawdown in oil inventories, ending several consecutive weeks of builds.

  • ExxonMobil to Dump LNG Import Terminal Plan in Australia

    ExxonMobil to Dump LNG Import Terminal Plan in Australia

    ExxonMobil (XOM) has gone through an extensive study to gauge demand interests for the proposed LNG import facility in Australia, which yield lesser-than-expected commitments.

  • Bloomberg

    Aramco’s IPO Gives Saudi Arabia Incentive to Pump More Oil, Not Less

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Now that Saudi Aramco is finally about to become a public company, it will have to start acting like one. And that means the share price of the state-owned oil giant will be of primary consideration to its executives and its shareholders. The kingdom’s monarchy, which will still control nearly all of Aramco’s shares after the IPO, will have particular interest in the stock price as it seeks to sell additional shares following the lock-up period. But because Aramco is a unique oil company, this could lead to unexpected OPEC oil policies.The widely held perception is that the Saudi monarchy will seek higher oil prices to bolster the share price for a publicly traded Aramco (the company’s formal name is Saudi Arabian Oil Co). The accepted forecast calls for Saudi Arabia’s Oil Ministry to act to limit OPEC production at this week’s meeting or those in the future, to achieve these higher oil prices — and indeed, there are reports that the kingdom is pushing for a three-month extension of current production cuts, through June 2020. However, the best way for Saudi Arabia to boost Aramco’s share price is actually to increase its own oil production, even if that leads to lower prices for crude. As such, the oil market needs to be prepared for the possibility that Saudi Arabia may employ this strategy prior to any future sales of Aramco shares.The Aramco IPO is only the beginning of Saudi Arabia’s attempt to monetize its national oil company. Various members of the Saudi government have suggested that more shares of Aramco will be sold in the future, either on the local Saudi stock exchange or possibly on an international bourse. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will likely be eager to sell more shares, especially since he was forced to scale back his original plan of selling 5% of the company at a $2 trillion valuation. The government will be forced to wait at least six months before it engages in most types of sales, though it can sell shares to foreign governments before that. In advance of future share sales, Saudi Arabia will want to maximize Aramco’s revenue and profit, just like any public company that wants to increase the attractiveness of its stock. The common view is that share prices for oil companies go up when oil prices rise, and this is generally true for companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. or Total SA. But even those companies would tend to keep pumping even when oil prices are middling, like they are now, because they need to show revenue strength. Oftentimes, it is expected that Aramco and OPEC partners will be the producers that try to raise or maintain the price of oil  by actively decreasing production. However, for Aramco, the sale of more oil, even at relatively low prices, offers a better opportunity to increase revenue and profit to look good at earnings time.Aramco has the lowest lifting cost per barrel  of oil (production costs after drilling), at $2.80, and an exceedingly low upstream capital expenditure per barrel of $4.70. As a result, Aramco makes much more money per barrel of crude it sells than any other oil company and can make much more money per barrel at lower prices — though of course it wouldn’t benefit from a slump. As for the opposite scenario of tightened production, Saudi Arabia’s oil policy has been fairly ineffective at raising oil prices in a market that features lagging demand growth and rising supply from non-OPEC producers like the U.S. Thus, it is questionable as to how much OPEC could raise the price of oil if Saudi Arabia wanted it to.Even if Saudi Arabia was able to push up oil prices, profit growth would diminish. Under the new marginal royalty scheme in Saudi Arabia, the company currently only pays 15% to the kingdom on crude production at current price levels. But if the price rises above $70, the royalty rate hits 45%, and above $100 it hits an enormous 80%. At some point, the rise in oil price helps the Saudi government coffers much more than the company, and potential investors know that. One of the reasons Aramco is unique among oil producers is that it can significantly increase its production. In fact, Aramco is currently required, under the Saudi Hydrocarbons Law, to be able to produce 12 million barrels per day with three months’ notice. That would be an increase of 2.2 million barrels per day from its October levels. Most likely, Aramco could produce in excess of 12 million barrels, if the government directed. In addition to increased production, Aramco also maintains significant amounts of stored oil, which it can release to the market to increase its own revenue.In contrast, other major producers can’t increase their crude oil sales in any significant way. They don’t maintain large amounts of spare capacity, because they are producing to optimize revenue all of the time; after all, they have shareholders to appease. Aramco has left its production far below capacity for good reasons. Traditionally, Aramco and the Saudi government haven’t immediately needed more cash and have prioritized the health and long-term viability of Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves. Moreover, until now, Saudi Arabia hasn’t had to consider Aramco’s share price.Now, with a focus on share price and optimizing the amount of cash the monarchy can make from future share sales, Aramco has reason to enhance its revenue and profits in the short term. The best way to do this is for the company to increase oil production. As the de facto leader of OPEC, we can expect these new incentives to factor into Saudi Arabia’s preferred oil policies from here on out.To contact the author of this story: Ellen R. Wald at ewald@tvslconsulting.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at bewilliams@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Ellen R. Wald is president of Transversal Consulting and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Global Energy Center.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Saudi Aramco Pitches Itself as the Low-Carbon Investors’ Choice

    Saudi Aramco Pitches Itself as the Low-Carbon Investors’ Choice

    (Bloomberg) -- Since 1980, the year Saudi Aramco was fully nationalized, the world’s largest oil producer has pumped about 116 billion barrels of crude oil from giant fields below the kingdom’s desert and the waters of the Persian Gulf.At today’s rate of consumption that crude would keep the world going for more than three years without using a single drop from any other oil-producing country. Put it through a refinery and you’d get enough gasoline to fill the tanks of more than 70 billion Chevy Suburban SUVs.And then there’s the carbon. All that oil has released more than 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in the last four decades, more than double China’s annual emissions. An analysis published in the Guardian newspaper last month reckoned Aramco’s oil was responsible for more emissions than any other single company.On one level that’s not surprising -- the modern global economy runs on petroleum and Aramco has been the prime supplier. But as Aramco makes the transition to becoming a publicly listed company, environmental concerns are one reason global investors have proved reluctant to embrace the world’s largest oil producer.Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and other large oil and gas producers are already being pressed by a cohort of fund managers moving environmental, social and governance concerns up the agenda. Before Saudi Arabia decided to concentrate the IPO on local investors, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, Singapore’s Temasek, had decided to pass on Aramco because of environmental concerns.Big Oil is already under pressure “due to excessive carbon emissions, environmental footprint, social and community disruption, corruption exposure, health and safety and the now ubiquitous ‘stranded asset risk,”’ said Oswald Clint, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd. “Clearly then, the undisputed No.1 oil producer globally, Saudi Aramco, will come under a lot of scrutiny from investors as it embarks upon the public chapter of its life.”But Aramco is convinced it has a good story to tell on emissions. It goes like this: as the energy transition freezes and then shrinks demand for oil the complex, expensive, high-carbon supply sources like the Canadian oil sands will be increasingly abandoned. At the end of the story, only fields that are profitable in a world with strict emissions laws and depressed prices will remain, and from there this world will draw its last drop of oil.In Aramco’s 658-page IPO prospectus, the company explains why it possesses that last drop. There’s a table showing drilling a ton of Saudi oil takes half the energy of producing a barrel in the U.S. It shows that last year its lifting costs, expenses associated with bringing crude to market, were far lower than at each of the five oil majors -- Exxon, Shell, BP Plc, Chevron Corp. and Total SA -- even after those competitors worked vigorously for years to eliminate bloat.Aramco “is uniquely positioned as the lowest cost producer globally,” according to the prospectus. That’s “due to the unique nature of the kingdom’s geological formations, favorable onshore and shallow water offshore environments in which the company’s reservoirs are located.”An analysis from the influential consultant Carbon Tracker backed that up, saying the company was probably going to be “one of the last oil producers standing” in a carbon-constrained future.Mixed ObjectivesBut it isn’t likely to be that simple.While each individual barrel of Aramco oil was produced at a competitively low volume of CO2, much of the company’s value is derived from the sheer number of barrels at its disposal. The company has five times the amount of proved liquids reserves than the five largest oil majors combined, according to the Aramco prospectus.It has so much crude that even in a case where Saudi Aramco is the last oil company on earth, it still can’t produce all its barrels in a world that limits global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius, according to an analysis from Rob Barnett at Bloomberg Intelligence.Under that scenario, a good chunk of Aramco’s reserves -- set to last more than 50 years -- may well end up as stranded assets.Governance is also likely to be a concern for potential investors. Just 1.5% of Aramco shares will be listed, leaving the Saudi state in a totally dominant position. Aramco will remain the main source of revenue for the kingdom, already running a larget fiscal deficit.“Governance issues will be a concern for investors,” analysts at Jefferies wrote in a research note. “The kingdom controls the board, is the resource owner and dictates production objectives.”Saudi Aramco has implemented some programs to cut its net carbon footprint, such as pledging to plant 1 million trees by 2025. It also is a founding member of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, which funds carbon-reduction technology and has made pledges to cut flaring. However, its oil major competitors have been listening to environmental complaints for decades also do that, and have gone further.An analysis from Bernstein showed the full-cycle emissions of Exxon, Shell and BP have trended downwards since about 2000. They are expected to keep falling as they implement measures suggested to them by eco-conscious shareholders, the report showed. Aramco’s full-cycle emissions have meanwhile increased sharply, reaching about double the volume of the three largest oil majors combined in 2015.Other oil companies are starting to take more radical action as pressure from governments, investors and customers to tackle the climate crisis builds. On Monday, Spain’s Repsol decided to promise zero net carbon emissions by 2050, while writing down the value of the business to reflect lower long-term oil prices Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer of Shell, said in an interview at the sidelines of the Oil & Money Conference in London in October that if he had any advice for Aramco at its IPO, it’s to learn to work with the oil industry’s climate critics. After all, they aren’t going anywhere.“When you get out in the market, you will get a lot of advice, a lot of conflicting advice, a lot of opinions and everything else,” van Beurden said. I think the IPO “is the opportunity for Aramco to plug into much more of the opinions of the world. To have their thinking shaped by that as well, rather than by events in the kingdom.”To contact the reporters on this story: Will Kennedy in London at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net;Kelly Gilblom in London at kgilblom@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net, Rakteem KatakeyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Apache Offers Thrills to Investors Prizing Boredom

    Apache Offers Thrills to Investors Prizing Boredom

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- In a week when oil stocks seem stuck in the familiar (if somewhat erratic) steps of a Viennese waltz, Apache Corp. is dancing to a different tune. And falling over.With OPEC+ meeting this week, Saudi-ology, along with Kremlinology, Iraqi-ology and all the other -ologies, dominate. Rumors the group would agree to deeper production cuts proved more soothing to oil markets than a slice of sachertorte on Monday morning. Except for Apache.The exploration and production company issued an update on an exploratory well it has been drilling off the coast of Suriname. Needless to say, it wasn’t a barnstormer. Apache essentially said the well had reached its target depth and the company was evaluating two distinct plays and planned on drilling a bit further to assess a third. No mention of hitting a significant deposit of hydrocarbons. On the other hand, no mention of it being a dry hole either. Ambiguity reigns — and, as monarchs go, ambiguity faces some decidedly restless subjects.This is the kind of thing for which people used to own oil stocks. The binary outcome of a well that could make or break an E&P company was what really got the punters going, not debates about whether OPEC could manage to get Brent toward $65 rather than $60 a barrel.Indeed, this is Apache’s problem. Block 58 in Suriname’s waters sits very close to Exxon Mobil Corp.’s wildly successful Stabroek discoveries offshore Guyana. A little geographic extrapolation has offered support to Apache’s stock in recent months; a stock which otherwise isn’t exactly brimming with reasons to own it. The company lost its head of exploration in October, sparking a big sell-off. Its latest big bet, the Alpine High play in Texas, ran into a one-two punch of consistently moribund natural gas prices and the collapse in natural gas liquids pricing over the past year. Beyond this, its portfolio of onshore U.S., Egyptian and North Sea assets is something of an acquired taste in investor circles. Just as its peer Hess Corp. has been given a new lease on life by its non-operated stake in Exxon’s Guyanese success, so Suriname has offered a potential catalyst for Apache.Clearly, Monday’s announcement doesn’t close the door on success there. With the stock hitting its lowest level in more than 17 years — when Brent was trading at $25 — those willing to bet Apache is simply being overly cautious in a sector that usually errs the other way could find the wildcatter bet ultimately pays off. However, even after this latest sell-off, there may yet be a long way further down. Apache’s characteristic discount to the sector had closed as a result of anticipation over Suriname. And while that’s widened out again to about 10% as of Monday morning, the average for the past decade has been 21%.Assuming all else equal, putting Apache on a 21% discount would mean a stock price of about $17 and, thereby, a dividend yield of about 6%. It would need that, though, given the lack of growth embedded in consensus forecasts. Apache is a relatively small yet diversified E&P stock with a history of bold moves and which is exposed to a binary exploration outcome in world where investors now tend to prize either focus or scale and dependable free cash flow rather than big bets. Dancing to a different tune, prized when the crowd is enthusiastic, can be a liability when the mood music has changed this much.To contact the author of this story: Liam Denning at ldenning1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Gongloff at mgongloff1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Liam Denning is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering energy, mining and commodities. He previously was editor of the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column and wrote for the Financial Times' Lex column. He was also an investment banker.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • SSL vs. XOM: Which Stock Should Value Investors Buy Now?

    SSL vs. XOM: Which Stock Should Value Investors Buy Now?

    SSL vs. XOM: Which Stock Is the Better Value Option?

  • Exxon (XOM) Up 0.8% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Continue?

    Exxon (XOM) Up 0.8% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Continue?

    Exxon (XOM) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.

  • Here's a Look at the EIA's Weekly Petroleum Status Report

    Here's a Look at the EIA's Weekly Petroleum Status Report

    The federal government's EIA report revealed that crude inventories rose by 1.6 million barrels, compared to the 600,000 barrels decrease that energy analysts had expected.

  • As U.S. Majors Cool on Australia, Japan’s Inpex Sees Opportunity

    As U.S. Majors Cool on Australia, Japan’s Inpex Sees Opportunity

    (Bloomberg) -- Japan’s largest petroleum exploration company, Inpex Corp., is looking at expanding its natural gas business in Australia, even as U.S. energy majors Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips scale back their operations in the country.Both Exxon and Conoco are selling non-core assets to boost shareholder returns and fund more attractive growth elsewhere around the world. Inpex sees it differently, looking to snap up assets to feed its $45 billion Ichthys liquefied natural gas project off northwest Australia, which is just one year into its expected 40-year lifespan.“There are so many opportunities here in Australia,” said Hitoshi Okawa, head of Inpex’s Australia business, after the company earlier this month announced its 100th shipment from the project. “We’re here for the long haul.”Exxon said in September that it was seeking a buyer for maturing gas fields off southeast Australia, while Conoco last month announced a $1.4 billion deal to sell its LNG business in northern Australia to local company Santos Ltd. With Ichthys now in normal production, Okawa is turning his attention to finding fresh reserves to keep the huge project running at full capacity of 8.9 million tons a year.The Cash Maple field, owned by Thailand’s PTT Exploration & Production Pcl, and the Crux prospect are two options among several Okawa is considering because of their proximity to the Ichthys Field, which is connected via an 890-kilometer (550-mile) pipeline to the LNG plant near Darwin.PTTEP said in September it was seeking a partner for Cash Maple, while Inpex already cooperates with Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Crux’s majority owner, through a minority stake in Prelude LNG, the world’s largest offshore facility.Australia is preparing for what it hopes will be a second wave of LNG investment after local firms and global majors spent more than $200 billion over the past decade building enough plants to make the country the world’s leader in export capacity. That effort was led by U.S. major Chevron Corp.’s $88 billion Wheatstone and Gorgon LNG projects, the latter of which Exxon owns 25% in.Another question for Okawa is whether to double down on the separate Darwin LNG processing facility, soon to be operated by Santos after Conoco opted to sell its share. Inpex already holds an 11.4% stake in Darwin and Santos Managing Director Kevin Gallagher has said he would like partner “alignment” in the Barossa gas field, which Santos has earmarked to supply the Darwin plant.“That’s Kevin’s aspiration, he’s a good friend of mine” Okawa said, “Of course we think about the importance of alignment but a commercial decision is required.”Okawa also said he saw potential for collaboration between Ichthys and Darwin LNG. For now, he is keeping his options open as his company seeks to deepen its ties to the country.“We want to be an employer of choice, a partner of choice and a company that is indispensable to Australia’s economic development,” Okawa said. “Without having the proper awareness in the community and within government, it’s very difficult for us to expand the business here in Australia.”To contact the reporter on this story: James Thornhill in Sydney at jthornhill3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ramsey Al-Rikabi at ralrikabi@bloomberg.net, Rob Verdonck, Dan MurtaughFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Valaris' New Fleet Status Reports $285M Addition to Backlog

    Valaris' New Fleet Status Reports $285M Addition to Backlog

    Valaris' (VAL) DS-15 drillship wins a one-well and two-well contracts with Eni and CNOOC each in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Fires Burn On After Blasts Rock Chemical Plant in Texas

    Fires Burn On After Blasts Rock Chemical Plant in Texas

    (Bloomberg) -- Fires were still burning at a Texas chemical plant after multiple explosions injured three workers and forced residents of Port Neches to evacuate.As of about 6 a.m. local time Thursday, the fire was still burning and the evacuation order remains in place, an officer at Port Neches police department said by phone.The first blast at TPC Group Inc.’s facility on Wednesday morning occurred in the site’s south processing unit at a tank with finished butadiene, the company said on its website. A second explosion about 12 hours later sent flames and debris high into the air. Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick declared a state of disaster.“It is not clear at this time for how long the plant will be shut down,” TPC Group Inc. said on its website on Wednesday, adding that affected products included both raw materials and processed butadiene and raffinate. The facility about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Houston produces more than 16% of North America’s butadiene, and 12% of gasoline additive methyl tert-butyl ether, or MTBE, according to data provider ICIS. Butadiene is used to make synthetic rubber that is used for tires and automobile hoses, according to TPC.Bonds in closely held TPC, which is headquartered in Houston, fell as much as 8% on the news, making them the worst performer among junk-rated securities.The blasts at Port Neches follow a string of similar accidents in Texas this year. An explosion at a chemical plant northeast of Houston in March left one person dead, just two weeks after a blaze at an oil storage facility caused thousands of gallons of petrochemicals to flow into Houston’s shipping channel. Exxon Mobil Corp.’s suburban Houston refining and chemicals complex erupted in flames in July.The Jefferson County evacuation order issued late on Wednesday covered a radius of 4 miles that included parts of Port Neches, Groves, Nederland and Port Arthur.“I don’t think the focus is on putting the fire out, but letting the materials in there burn themselves out and keeping the surrounding tanks cooled with the water being sprayed,” Judge Branick said at a press conference.The Coast Guard said earlier that traffic was moving with restrictions on the Sabine-Neches channel, which links refineries and terminals in Beaumont and Port Arthur with the Gulf of Mexico.TPC said the initial blast injured two employees and one contractor. All three have since been treated and released from medical facilities, Troy Monk, director of health, safety and security at TPC, said at a press conference Wednesday.“You don’t want to be downwind of this,” Monk said. He couldn’t say when the fires would be extinguished, saying the main goal was “fire suppression.”Total SA’s Port Arthur refinery hasn’t been affected by the chemical plant fire, a company spokeswoman said in an email. BASF SE’s steam cracker in Port Arthur and Exxon’s Beaumont refinery also weren’t affected, according to representatives for the companies.Royal Dutch Shell Plc shut the Nederland station on its Zydeco oil pipeline, which pumps crude oil from the Houston area to refineries in Louisiana, a company spokesman said by email.TPC received 11 written notices of emissions violations from September 2014 to August 2019, according to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality records. Three of those were this year and were classified as “moderate” violations. The company also received several high-priority violation notices from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.TPC was taken private in a $706 million deal in 2012 by private equity firms First Reserve Corp. and SK Capital Partners, which staved off a rival bid from fuel additives maker Innospec Inc. that was backed by Blackstone Group. The company, formerly known as Texas Petrochemicals Inc., competes with LyondellBasell Industries NV in the butadiene market and is run by former Lyondell senior executive Ed Dineen.“Our hearts go out to them as well,” Port Neches Mayor Glenn Johnson said of TPC at a press conference Wednesday. “We appreciate TPC,” he said twice.Spot butadiene prices in the Gulf region are down 43% this year to 26 cents per pound, according to data from Polymerupdate.com. The decline is due to weak tire demand caused by the slump in global car sales, analysts at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. said in a note Wednesday. Lyondell, which also makes butadiene, may benefit if a significant outage at the TPC plant leads to an increase in prices, the analysts said.Port Neches is a city of about 13,000, halfway between the refining centers of Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas. Located on the Neches River, the city has long been associated with oil refining and petrochemicals.(Updates with police comment on status of fire in second paragraph, details on location of blast, affected products in third and fourth paragraphs. An earlier version of the story corrected the name of the company.)\--With assistance from Mike Jeffers, Adam Cataldo, Stephen Cunningham, Sheela Tobben, Kriti Gupta, Dan Murtaugh, Bill Lehane and Fred Pals.To contact the reporters on this story: Rachel Adams-Heard in Houston at radamsheard@bloomberg.net;Catherine Ngai in New York at cngai16@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net, Carlos Caminada, John DeaneFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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