(Adds details of forecast, stock movement)
NEW YORK, March 7 (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's largest publicly traded oil producer, said on Wednesday it expects earnings to more than double by 2025 to $31 billion, with crude prices at or above current levels.
The aggressive growth outlook is designed to directly counter concerns from investors and analysts who have bemoaned the company's returns, which have sagged below those of rivals Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Chevron Corp in recent years.
Exxon Chief Executive Darren Woods, who took the helm in January 2017 after predecessor Rex Tillerson left to become U.S. secretary of state, told analysts he was committed to being more transparent and improving results.
"There's a lot different today, not just style," Woods said on Wednesday at the company's annual analyst day in New York. "I think that it's my responsibility to make sure this audience and the broader audience understands where we're trying to take the business."
Exxon said exploration projects in Guyana and the Permian Basin as well as refining and chemical plant expansions, should help boost earnings. Production is expected to grow by about 1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), to about 5 million boe/d.
Exxon reported an adjusted profit of $15 billion in 2017.
In the Permian alone, Exxon plans to triple production by 2025 as it taps the low-cost acreage. The plans highlight the increasing importance of U.S. shale to the world's largest publicly traded oil producer alongside its global mega-projects in places such as Qatar and Guyana, where Exxon and partners say they have more than 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent in place.
Exxon did not announce a stock buyback program on Wednesday, something analysts had been hoping for.
Shares were down about 0.5 percent at $75.78 in premarket trading. (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Bernadette Baum)