New York investigating Exxon’s accounting practices – WSJ

exxon-mobile-headquarters-sign16 September 2016, New York — New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating Exxon Mobil Corp’s accounting practices and why the company hasn’t written down the value of its assets despite a steep drop in oil prices, WSJ reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

A more than 60 percent plunge in oil prices since mid-2014 has forced oil producers worldwide to write down the value of their assets.

In a note earlier this month, Jefferies estimated that a group of integrated oil companies had impaired assets worth $103 billion since the start of 2014. This is equivalent to 8 percent of their 2014 net assets.

The brokerage expects more asset impairments in the industry, noting that Exxon is the only major producer to not have written down any assets.

Exxon Mobil and the New York Attorney General’s office were not immediately available for comments.

Schneiderman’s office launched an investigation last year into whether Exxon misled the public and shareholders about the risks of climate change.

Voters at Exxon’s annual meeting in May approved a measure to let minority shareholders nominate outsiders for seats on the board, meaning a climate activist could eventually become a director at the world’s largest publicly traded oil company.

Exxon’s shares were down about 1.5 percent at $83.80 premarket. Up to Thursday’s close, shares of the company had fallen about 17 percent since mid-2014, trailing a 32 percent decline in the broader S&P Energy index during the same period.

*Arathy S Nair; Editing – Sriraj Kalluvila & Saumyadeb Chakrabarty – Reuters

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