Exxon says it remains committed to Singapore refinery expansion

Exxon has been slashing costs due to a collapse in oil demand and ill-timed bets on new projects. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE (REUTERS) - Exxon Mobil said on Thursday it remains committed to expanding its refining-petrochemical complex in Singapore amid an ongoing review of its projects globally.

Along with other oil producers, Exxon has been slashing costs due to a collapse in oil demand and ill-timed bets on new projects. The top US oil company earlier outlined more than US$10 billion (S$13.5 billion) in budget cuts this year.

Exxon made a final investment decision in 2019 on the multi-billion dollar expansion of its integrated manufacturing complex in Singapore, which would help it increase production of cleaner fuels with lower sulphur content.

The expansion, which had been expected to come online in 2023, would convert fuel oil and other residual crude products into higher-value lube base stocks and distillates.

It would increase its capacity to produce cleaner fuels with lower-sulphur content by 48,000 barrels per day (bpd), including high-quality marine fuels.

"We are committed to completing the Singapore project, which improves the long-term competitiveness of our integrated refining and petrochemical complex and provides good and high-skilled jobs for Singaporeans," a company spokesperson said in an email.

The company declined to comment specifically on the schedule and pace of the project.

"The timing of expansion plans for select downstream and chemical facilities across the company's portfolio will be adjusted to capture efficiencies, slow spending pace and better align with a return in commodity demand," the spokesperson said.

The Singapore refinery is Exxon's largest, with capacity of about 592,000 bpd. Singapore is also home to the oil giant's biggest integrated petrochemical complex.

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