Exxon's CEO says the oil company will invest more than $50 billion over the next five years to expand its business in the U.S., including new manufacturing plants and expansion of current operations as well as more oil production.
Chairman and CEO Darren Woods said the new investments are in addition to Exxon's current $20 billion plan to build refining, chemical and export facilities along the Gulf Coast over 10 years.
That program, which began in 2013, already has included $200 million to expand the company's chemical and lubricants complex in Baton Rouge, which is already one of the world's largest petrochemical hubs. Project investments by ExxonMobil in Baton Rouge in 2017 totaled about $340 million and included projects at all five local facilities, the company recently reported.
Over the past three years, more than $1 billion dollars in capital projects has been invested in Baton Rouge area facilities, helping retain more than 6,500 local employees and contractors.
Woods said Monday that the additional $50 billion in investments are possible because of the company's strength, helped by the recent law that cut taxes on corporations.
In a blog on the Exxon website, Woods said that Exxon plans to increase oil production in the Permian basin in Texas and New Mexico, build new manufacturing plants and expand current operations. He said the initiatives will create "thousands" of jobs and increase energy security.
Last March, the company and President Donald Trump praised each other for making the $20 billion in investments possible, although some of them began more than three years before Trump became president.
Exxon has been investing in new refining and chemical-manufacturing projects on the Gulf Coast to expand its manufacturing and export capacity. Most of Exxon Mobil's chemical capacity investment in the Gulf is targeted toward export markets in Asia and elsewhere.
As part of Exxon's investments, the Port Allen aviation lubricants facility, which blends, packs and distributes products worldwide, expanded. The project created 400 construction jobs and 45 new permanent jobs between the Port Allen and Baton Rouge chemical plant sites.
The company also completed a Baton Rouge sulfur expansion project in 2015. Construction on the project, which increased the refinery's processing flexibility and capacity, began in 2014. The project helped to preserve jobs for some 5,500 employees and contractors.
Last year, Woods said the company is "using new, abundant domestic energy supplies to provide products to the world at a competitive advantage resulting from lower costs and abundant raw materials. In this way, an upstream technology breakthrough has led to a downstream manufacturing renaissance."
Business leaders have praised the new tax law, which cut the corporate income-tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Republicans say the law will spur growth and create jobs. Democrats say it favors the wealthy and adds to the federal budget deficit.
Exxon reported $11.3 billion in profit in the first nine months of 2017, already far surpassing its earnings for all of 2016 as oil prices recovered from a two-year slump. Still, Exxon profits are down sharply from the $44.9 billion it posted in 2012.
Shares of Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp. fell 99 cents to close at $88.01 on Monday. They have gained 3 percent in the past 12 months.