Shares moved lower on ExxonMobil'searnings announcement.
Expenses are a concern. The cost of producing oil from "upstream" (exploration and extraction), and "midstream" (pumping into pipeline) is increasing, and Edmonds thinks Exxon will have a hard time keeping up.
"They spent $10 billion in capital expenditures [physical, durable investments such as an oil rig] this year. That's exactly what they spent last year this quarter, and yet their volumes are down 4-5 percent — and that's just the upstream business," added Edmonds.
They say in business, you've got to spend money to make money, and Exxon's CEO Rex Tillerson is known for it.
Exxon will spend $3 billion in Russian arctic oil exploration alone, where other big oil investments have been burned.
Phil Weiss, energy analyst for Argus Research, told CNBC that this is "par for the course" in the race for oil resources.
"You have to take the risk, and it's worth taking the risk in Russia, especially if you have a balance sheet like Exxon does," he said in a separate interview.
But while the company's going big in Russia, its light alternative energy footprint may be giving competitors an advantage.