The oil giant made a big bet on the domestic natural gas market late last year buying Texas-based XTO Energy for $41 billion. But refining and exploration remain its backbone. Exxon Mobil drilled 45 new wells last year and hit pay dirt on nearly two-thirds of them.
Other big projects: new ventures in Qatar, the Black Sea, and Kazakhstan, including the giant Kashagan field located offshore in the Caspian Sea. With operations in nearly every corner of the planet, Exxon always seems to get a seat at the table when big projects arise. Maybe size does matter. –Peter Newcomb