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Energy Titan's Take on Oil Nemesis Musk: ‘Creative, Innovative’

Energy Titan's Take on Oil Nemesis Musk: ‘Creative, Innovative’

Exxon CEO Woods on Trade, China Demand, Acquisitions

The head of Exxon Mobil Corp. has nothing but public praise for the man who may hasten the demise of the oil industry.

“Elon Musk is a very creative, innovative individual,” Darren Woods, chief executive officer of Exxon, said when asked his opinion of the Tesla Inc. boss during a Bloomberg TV interview at the New Economy Forum in Singapore.

Musk has bristled at Big Oil in the past, saying in interviews and on Twitter that the industry is behind attacks on electric vehicles and arguing in May that the media was attacking Tesla because fossil fuel producers and gasoline-powered car companies are big advertising spenders.

According to Woods, Exxon has little to worry about electric cars. Even if all light transport vehicles are electrified by 2040, oil demand will still be at 2013 levels because of the growth in petrochemicals to make more consumer goods for a growing middle class, and heavy-duty vehicles to transport them.

The New Economy Forum is being organized by Bloomberg Media Group, a division of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.