In response, Exxon has used its global scope to seek out better opportunities. A potential Alaskan nat-gas pipeline and LNG joint venture with BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) would have huge capital demands that would tax even Exxon's massive balance sheet, but if it opens Asia's markets to Alaskan natural gas, it could be a big win for the companies involved. But concerns persist, with Exxon walking a political tightrope in Iraq as it tries to do lucrative deals both with the Iraqi central government and the Kurdish regional government.
In its most recent earnings report, Exxon managed to post minimal growth in earnings even as revenue fell. Still, signs of early success in its relationship with Russia's Rosneft over potential Arctic development, as well as new activities off the coasts of South Africa and Canada's eastern coast, could eventually help replace some lost production.
For Exxon to improve, it needs to hold off Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) , which has been more aggressive with its attempts to expand internationally. Right now is when oil giants are drawing important battle lines that will govern the industry for decades to come, and Exxon needs to jump in with both feet in order to defend its leadership role.
The article Has ExxonMobil Become the Perfect Stock? originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Dan Caplinger.
Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Chevron.
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