As Oil Spikes, Exxon Sees Growth in Natural Gas

Rex Tillerson
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Rex Tillerson

As crude oil hit new a new multi-year high on Thursday, closing above $110 a barrel , Exxon Mobil Chairman Rex Tillerson told CNBC natural has is the fastest-growing conventional fuel and that demand will 60 percent by 2030.

Tillerson said the oil market "is pricing in what it thinks is going to be the cost of the next barrel that has to be bought in the event there is another interruption of supply somewhere else."

He defended his company's $30 billion acquisition of XTO Energy at a time of high natural gas supply and low prices. XTO is a major player in the natural gas industry.

"I think the timing was good from our perspective. The current conditions were not unexpected by us," he said, adding Exxon is "happy in the resource we have and in the organization we acquired as well."

He downplayed the stock's recent underperformance.

"It’s part of my responsibility that we’re giving good value to the shareholders. I think we have done everything that is appropriate to do in terms of making sure people understand the steps we’ve taken to position the company to deliver that kind of long-term shareholder value," Tillerson said.

With $100 million a day committed to capital projects in the next five years, Tillerson said there will be significant investment in the Middle East, West Africa, Australia and New Guinea as well as shale development in the US and oil sands in Canada.