(Bloomberg) — Exxon Mobil Corp. has been scrutinizing employee-travel budgets since the largest North American oil explorer posted its worst quarterly profit in almost four years, said people with knowledge of the matter.
Auditing teams have fanned out to some divisions to analyze travel requests involving industry conferences, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to talk publicly.
The austerity measures are unusual for Irving, Texas-based Exxon, one of the few major explorers to avoid job or dividend cuts during the 2014-16 oil slump. The restrictions may also signal intensifying concern among Exxon leadership about the prospects for a recovery as China’s coronavirus outbreak slams global energy demand.
An Exxon spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Exxon has been punished by investors since disclosing fourth-quarter results on Jan. 31 and warning that conditions in its chemical business will remain “challenging” for the rest of this year. In the seven trading sessions since that report, the company shed about $20 billion in market value.
–With assistance from Kevin Crowley.
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