Exxon's West African drilling plans hit by Ebola outbreak

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has hit ExxonMobil's drilling plans at a number of locations. So far, the fatal virus has taken a toll of at least 3,338 lives in West Africa, according to Uncover California.

According to ExxonMobil, the world's biggest energy company, which has major operations in Nigeria and Liberia, the company was fluctuating between gains and losses as some of its oil and gas activities in West Africa have been hindered by the Ebola outbreak.

Rex Tillerson, the company's chief executive officer, told  a news conference, "We had some drilling plans for some blocks offshore West Africa in Liberia. We have to look at when it would be prudent to resume operations there because you do have to have shore-based support".

The news conference was organised by ExxonMobil to announce a $18-million grant to three Houston, Texas, hospitals. The first case of Ebola was diagnosed earlier this week in the US, in Dallas, Texas.

Additionally, the company had advised its employees to not travel to countries that were directly affected by the disease. Tillerson added the company was also taking several precautionary measures related to workers' families.

The virus has spread to Liberia and had also hit Sierra Leone and Guinea. Meanwhile, Liberia officials said they would initiate serious action against the man who was responsible for carrying Ebola to the US for lying on a health form.