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Exxon Mobil buys nearly 100 acres in Baytown

July 13, 2018

Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) has purchased nearly 100 acres adjacent to one of its refineries in Baytown.

The energy company bought 93 acres off of Baker Road in Baytown, adjacent to its Baytown refinery, according to public filings. The deal closed in early June. New York-based SI Group Inc., a chemical company, sold the land to Exxon in two contiguous tracts comprised of of 55 acres and 38 acres, per the filings.

SI Group has several property tracts in the area, including a chemical facility, according to Harris County Appraisal District records. The SI chemical facilities at the site were not included in the deal, according to a company spokesperson. Those facilities are appraised at more than $19 million, according to the records.

Exxon Mobil does not have any immediate plans for the land's use, said an Exxon Mobil spokesperson.

It's not uncommon for energy companies to buy the land that neighbors its existing refineries, industry sources said, to make sure there aren't any future liabilities with competition next door. An increasing number of downstream companies are engaging in these purchases, too, following the passage of more business-friendly tax codes in recent years.

An example of a similar purchase closed recently. The Woodlands-based Chevron Phillips Chemical purchased a house and land adjacent to its Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown in June. In CP Chem's case, the deal primarily created a buffer zone between the facilities and occupied land, CP Chem's CEO Mark Lashier told the Houston Business Journal. It also gives the facility room for future expansion, including growth projects or efforts to harden the site against floods, Lashier said.

Earlier this year, Exxon Mobil CEO Darren Woods said the company plans to invest $50 billion over the next five years in its U.S. operations, helped along in part by tax breaks passed last year.

Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil has 11 projects on the U.S. Gulf Coast that it expects to have created more than 45,000 jobs between 2013 and 2022. The projects — in Texas and Louisiana — stretch across the chemical, refining, lubricant and liquefied natural gas markets.

An Exxon Mobil subsidiary, XTO Energy, is in the process of relocating its headquarters from Fort Worth to Exxon's Springwoods Village campus in north Houston.

By Cara Smith, Houston Business Journal