Exxon To Increase Spending In Hunt For Oil

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Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, said it plans to spend $34 billion on capital projects this year, an almost 6% increase over 2010's level, and that it is planning annual spending of as much as $37 billion through 2015 as it expands its search for new oil deposits.

Exxon's (XOM) spending plan works out to about $100 million a day over the next five years, according to Bloomberg News. Even if Exxon spends $37 billion annually over the next five years, the company's spending will still be well short of the $224 billion Brazil's Petrobras (PBR) is planning to spend through 2014.

Exxon said it hopes to increase oil and gas output by 4% this year and that 11 new oil and gas projects could come online between now and 2013, Bloomberg reported. While Exxon's reserve replacement ratio jumped in 2010, most of those gains came from added gas reserves from the $35 billion purchase of XTO Energy.

Some analysts and investors have become concerned that Exxon is struggling to make significant new oil discoveries. The company is waiting on approval for two deepwater projects in the Gulf of Mexico.