NY Attorney General Investigating Suspicious Accounting at Exxon

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Sep 16, 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

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is looking into energy company Exxon's accounting practices, particularly its lack of asset write-downs despite the oil price crash, according to The Wall Street Journal. Among all its peers, it is the only energy company that has not done so, and because of this it has been able to outperform all its rivals, who have collectively booked $50 billion in write-downs, in terms of share price. This is despite having lost money for the past six quarters, something that The Journal said would usually prompt a company to do a write-down. Exxon, for its part, said that it has always been very conservative with the value of its assets, which reduces its exposure to write-downs. Further, when asked about it in 2013, it said that short-term fluctuations in market value do not justify discounting wells that, while not productive now, could potentially be drilled over the next decade. 

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