Exxon moves headquarters, reorganizes company

By Mike Lee | 02/01/2022 07:08 AM EST

An Exxon gas station in Fairfax County, Va.

An Exxon gas station in Fairfax County, Va. Francis Chung/E&E News

Exxon Mobil Corp. said yesterday it will move its headquarters to the Houston region as part of a reorganization that aims to streamline the oil company’s operations and trim costs.

The revamp also will make Exxon’s low-carbon division one of its three main business lines, along with upstream operations and its refining and chemicals operations, the company said in a news release.

Exxon’s headquarters has been in Irving, Texas, just outside Dallas, since 1989. Most of its operations have been consolidated at its 385-acre campus in Spring, Texas, which opened in 2014 about 25 miles north of downtown Houston.

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The remaining headquarters employees will move to the Spring campus next year, Exxon said. Consolidating its employees in one place will allow them to collaborate more closely, the company said.

“We greatly value our long history in Irving and appreciate the strong ties we have developed in the North Texas community,” CEO Darren Woods said in a statement.

“Closer collaboration and the new streamlined business model will enable the company to grow shareholder value and position ExxonMobil for success through the energy transition.”

The consolidation is the latest in a series of cost-cutting moves that Exxon expects will save the company $6 billion compared to 2019.

Exxon was forced to slash its production and lay off thousands of workers in 2020 because of the global pandemic and low oil prices.

In 2021, a hedge fund, Engine No. 1, successfully campaigned for a shake-up of Exxon’s board, aiming to force the company to focus on new forms of energy and change its assumptions about the long-term future of oil and gas production.

Exxon announced the formation of the low-carbon division in 2021, saying it would develop products and services like hydrogen and carbon-capture technology (Energywire, Feb. 2, 2021).

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the decision shows the town’s position as the center of the energy transition.

“In this city, we partner with our energy sector to move forward positively in a way that can benefit Houstonians and create a global impact on climate, resilience and sustainability,” Turner said in a statement.

About 250 people, including Woods and Exxon’s management committee, work at the Irving headquarters. They’ve been offered relocation packages, and the switch “is not expected to result in significant job reductions,” Exxon spokesperson Erin McGrath said in an email.