HOUSTON--Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) will buy back $5 billion worth of shares in the first quarter of 2013, a company executive said Friday.
Exxon's head for investor relations David Rosenthal in an earnings call added that the world's largest publicly traded company had seen its 2012 production end up 2.7% below outlook, hurt by operational-performance issues in combination with the effect of higher oil prices and with more efficient capital spending in Iraq.
Mr. Rosenthal also said the Kearl oilsands project in Alberta is expected to start in the first quarter of 2013. The project had been expected to start by the end of 2012, but weather has played a role. "It has just been brutally cold up there," he said.
The executive also added that the company had seen "encouraging results" in its Argentina drilling program, although well testing was ongoing.
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