Oil and Gas

UPDATE 2-Exxon Mobil adds 1.6 bln barrels to reserves

(Adds background, share price)

NEW YORK, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp XOM.N said on Friday it added 1.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent to its proved oil and natural gas reserves in 2007, or 101 percent of its production for the year.

That figure was based on the largest U.S. oil company’s own formula and forward price expectations for developing reservoirs, and was higher than the reserve figure as defined by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Under the SEC rules that require reserves be measured using Dec. 31, 2007 oil and gas prices, the company added 1.2 billion boe, or 76 percent of its 2007 production.

Industry analysts typically expect oil and gas companies to replace more than 100 percent of their annual production as a sign that they are growing.

Surging oil prices have prompted governments across the globe to exert greater control over the exploitation of their resources, making it more difficult for oil companies such as Exxon to gain access to new fields.

Excluding 460 million boe in reserves that were divested or seized by the Venezuelan government last year, Exxon said it replaced 132 percent of its 2007 output using its own methodology and 107 percent using the SEC rules.

Exxon and Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA are currently locked in a legal battle over the U.S. company’s compensation claim for its stake in the Cerro Negro development in Venezuela.

Total proved reserves for Exxon were 22.7 billion boe, giving it a reserves life of more than 14 years at current production rates.

Exxon said its total oil and gas resource base -- which includes proved, probable and other expected production -- stood at 72 billion oil equivalent barrels at the end of 2007.

Shares of Exxon were down 1 percent to $84.67 on the New York Stock Exchange, in line with the broader Standard & Poor's Energy index .GSPE. (Reporting by Matt Daily, editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Dave Zimmerman)