Exxon Mobil Corp. danced around a question on Tuesday about where it stood on President Donald Trumps executive order temporarily banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
Id rather not talking here specifics, Jeffrey Woodbury, Exxon Mobils investor relations chief, said during a bellow with analysts to discuss last years rocky fourth-quarter earnings. But I will tell you that were monitoring the situation very closely.
Although U.S. petroleum companies maintain few operations in the seven targeted countries, Exxon Mobil has notable business in at least one of them, Iraq.
Woodbury said the Texas-based company has a team tracking situations that could become dangerous for Exxon Mobil employees or properties overseas, including in the countries named in Trumps executive order.
A key aspect, wherever we are in the world, including Iraq, is the security of our people and our contractors, Woodbury told. We have a dedicated endeavor within the organization to ensure that were trying to stay in front of potential threats that the united nations needs to respond to in order to ensure the safety and security of our assets and people.
In retaliation for the U.S.action, two Iraqi lawmakers have already pushed a reciprocity measure through their countrys parliament to bar American citizens including petroleum and military contractors for 90 days.
Two Exxon Mobil spokesmen did not immediately return an email requesting farther comment.
Chief executives from other major companies, including Goldman Sachs, Uber Technology, Tesla and Ford Motor Company have condemned the executive order. Apple, Microsoft and travel-booking giant Expedia joined a lawsuit filed Monday by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, alleging the ban will hurt their future earnings.
But Trump has suggested that he would gut regulations on the oil and gas industry, and Exxon Mobil may be hesitating to criticize a friendly administration. Woodbury also declined to comment on the presidents threat to impose border taxes on business he disagrees with, telling simply that Exxon Mobil would continue to proponent for free-market principles.
Asked about sanctions on Russia, which Trump has suggested he would lift, Woodbury again declined to comment beyond telling the company would continue to comply with existing restrictions. Exxon Mobil has significant investmentsin Russia.
The companys silence on the travel and immigration ban echoes its former CEO Rex Tillerson, who stepped down in December after Trump nominated him for secretary of state. Senate Democrat tried and failedto delay Tillersons full verification election this week to allow for time to probe his views on the executive order.
Another energy giant, Chevron Corporation, has had investments in Iraqi Kurdistan since 2012. So far, the only oil industry worker apparently affected by the presidents ban has been a Chevron engineer in Houston, The Texas Tribune reported.
Chevron is a worldwide company that values the contributions of all employees and partners regardless of their country of origin, religion, race, sexual orientation or gender, Chevron said in a statement. We are reviewing the Executive Order to understand any implications for our employees.
Exxon Mobils earnings severely missed forecasts as the company slashed the estimated value of its natural gas assets in the U.S. The firm reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.7 billion, down from $2.8 billion a year earlier.
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