Exxon: Oil Becoming Hard to Find Company slowly shifting to gas as oil fields tap out By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Feb 16, 2011 2:31 PM CST 42 comments Comments In this July 31, 2008 file photo, a customer holds a gas pump handle at an Exxon station in Vancouver, Wash. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, file) (Newser) – Exxon Mobil Corp. is having trouble finding more oil, it revealed yesterday in its earnings call. The company said it was depleting its reserves, replacing only 95 out of every 100 barrels it pumps. Though it tried to put a positive spin on things by saying it had made up for the shortfall by bolstering its natural gas supplies, experts tell the Wall Street Journal that’s probably a shift born of grim necessity. Oil companies across the board are drifting toward natural gas, because oil is harder and harder to come by, according to the Journal. Most accessible fields are already tapped out, while new fields are either technically or politically difficult to exploit. “The good old days are gone and not to be repeated,” says one analyst. Natural gas “is not going to give you the same punch” as oil.