US oil and gas company Exxon Mobil is ahead of schedule with its plan to double the size of its LNG portfolio to 40mtpa by 2030 and will focus on producing its own gas rather than trading the gas of third parties.

There has been a strong focus on the production of LNG since 2022, and Exxon is looking to revamp its LNG trading strategy. Total Energies and Shell are the bigger players in LNG trading, overpowering Exxon; Shell made $2.4bn (£1.9bn) from trading LNG in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Peter Clarke, Exxon senior vice-president for global LNG, said that Exxon’s approach to LNG trading differs to that of Total and Shell as Exxon mainly trades LNG that it produces itself.

“Our portfolio is never going to look like Shell’s, it’s not going to look like Total’s, we are targeting different aspects of the value chain. We are well on track to achieve the objective we set ourselves back in 2020 – and we are slightly ahead of that,” he told Reuters in an interview.

In 2020, Exxon said it planned to double its LNG portfolio to 40mtpa by 2030, from 20mtpa. Clarke claimed it is now producing around 30mtpa.

Clarke added that profits it can make on its own natural gas are larger than those made by purchasing and marketing LNG from third parties.

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“The big component in LNG is obviously the commercialisation of the LNG itself. We want to have the leading LNG portfolio in the world in terms of its financial robustness and financial returns. I would say we are well on the way to doing it,” he said.

Examples of Exxon’s own production projects include the Golden Pass LNG project, in which it holds a 30% stake with QatarEnergies as a partner. The project will produce its first LNG in 2025 and will have an export capacity of around 18mtpa.