Exxon May Write-Down Billions In Assets

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Oct 31, 2016
'Oil derrick east of Freer, TX IMG 0969' by Billy Hathorn at en.wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Exxon, amid investigations from the SEC and the New York Attorney General, may write down billions worth of oil and gas assets that it had insisted were still profitable, despite skepticism from regulators, according to The New York Times. The CEO, on Friday, admitted that currently booked reserves will not qualify as proven reserves by the end of this year, according to The Times, and further said that it would need to write down other assets in North America if prices don't rise soon. With oil prices now much lower than normal, many other petroleum companies have written down billions of dollars worth of assets, totaling $50 billion collectively. Exxon, however, remained the exception, resisting any write-downs at all, which allowed it to outperform its rivals despite technically losing money each quarter for the past two years. This led to investigations over its accounting, which the SEC and the NY Attorney General found suspicious. If it does write down assets, The Times said it might be focused on 3.6 billion barrels of oil-sand reserves, as well as an additional one billion other barrels that are currently not profitable to produce. It would be the biggest write-down in the company's history, according to The Times. 

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