ExxonMobil’s plan to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions involves carbon capture and storage (CCS), a technology that, according to the company, “could enable the decarbonization of some emissions-intensive sectors.”
It is seeking support to develop a public-private, multi-user CCS project in the Houston Ship Channel, part of the Port of Houston, which it estimates would cost $100 billion or more.
It is pushing for tax incentives or a carbon pricing system, as well as financial contributions from other companies in the area.
ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions-created in February 2021 to commercialize ExxonMobil’s portfolio of low-carbon technologies-chose the Houston Ship Channel for this project because of its numerous refineries and chemical plants, facilities that are difficult to decarbonize, according to Joe Blommaert, president of the Low Carbon Solutions business.
The plan aims to store 50 million tons of CO2 under the Gulf of Mexico by 2030 and double that figure by 2040. The captured CO2 would be transported by pipeline to offshore reservoirs in rock formations as deep as 2,000 meters below the seabed.
ExxonMobil, while committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, believes that oil and gas will continue to play a vital role in the economy for some time into the future.
Rather than switching to cleaner fuels or energy sources, the company is increasing its spending on carbon capture projects, despite pressure from some shareholders to change.
While ExxonMobil sees CCS as the most viable way to meet increasingly stringent greenhouse gas emissions targets, critics of the technology say that moving away from fossil fuels is the only way to reduce emissions to the degree necessary to halt climate change.
CCS “is not something that is going to save oil and gas companies from having to go through the energy transition,” said Rob Schuwerk, executive director of the North American office of the Carbon Tracker Initiative.