CCS in action
ExxonMobil is advancing several carbon capture and storage opportunities around the world to help support our commitment to the Paris Agreement.
Carbon capture technology is proven
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is one of the few proven technologies that could enable some of the highest-emitting sectors to significantly reduce their emissions, such as manufacturing and heavy industry. For the past few years, we’ve been studying the approach of multi-user CCS zones in major industrial areas that are located near safe underground geologic storage sites.
ExxonMobil’s LaBarge facility can capture 6-7 million metric tons of CO 2 a year, the largest of any industrial facility in the world. Plans are underway to expand this by up to 1 million more metric tons a year, starting in 2025.
ExxonMobil is partnering with Qatar Energy, which operates the largest CCS facility in the Middle East at Ras Laffan. The facility has the capacity to capture 2.1 million metric tons of CO 2 per year.
ExxonMobil has partnered with other energy companies, including project operator Chevron, in the Gorgon project off the coast of Western Australia. Up to 4 million metric tons of CO 2 per year can be captured here.
ExxonMobil is also evaluating the potential for a CCS hub in South East Australia. The proposed project could capture up to 2 million metric tons of CO 2 per year beginning in 2025, reducing emissions from multiple industries in the Gippsland Basin.
Imperial Oil, majority owned by ExxonMobil, is moving forward with plans to produce renewable diesel at its Strathcona refinery near Edmonton, Alberta, using hydrogen with CCS as part of the manufacturing process. Imperial is also a founding member of the Oil Sands Pathway to Net Zero Alliance, which has a goal to achieve net zero emissions from oil sands operations by 2050, starting with a foundational CCS network.
ExxonMobil is pursuing blue hydrogen and CCS projects in England and Scotland in the UK. In December 2021, ExxonMobil signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Scotia Gas Network (SGN) and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) to explore the potential to produce hydrogen with CCS in the Southampton industrial cluster in England. In Scotland, through a joint venture with Shell, ExxonMobil is participating in the Acorn project, which could capture CO 2 emissions from industrial facilities at the JV’s St Fergus gas terminal, as well as ExxonMobil’s Fife Ethylene Plant, and store them offshore. The project has the potential to capture more than 5 million metric tons per year of CO 2 .
ExxonMobil and Petronas, the state-owned energy company of Malaysia, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate and jointly explore potential CCS projects in Malaysia.
U.S. Gulf Coast
ExxonMobil is one of 14 companies in the greater Houston area interested in capturing CO 2 emissions from their petrochemical, refining and power generation facilities. The company has also announced plans to build a blue hydrogen production plant and one of the world’s largest CCS projects at its integrated site in Baytown, Texas.
ExxonMobil has entered into an agreement with several European energy companies to explore the development of CCS infrastructure in the Normandy industrial region. The group aims to reduce CO 2 emissions by up to 3 million metric tons per year by 2030, which is equivalent to the emissions of more than 1 million passenger cars.
Rotterdam, which is Europe’s largest port, is progressing plans for the Port of Rotterdam CO 2 Transportation Hub and Offshore Storage (Porthos) project, which plans to capture industrial CO 2 emissions and store them in depleted North Sea gas fields. ExxonMobil has signed a joint development agreement to advance its interest in the project.
ExxonMobil is participating in a multi-stakeholder CCS project at the Port of Antwerp, home of Europe’s largest integrated energy and chemical cluster. The Antwerp@C project has the potential to capture 8 million metric tons of CO 2 annually by 2030 – a 50 percent reduction in the area’s CO 2 emissions.
ExxonMobil is assessing the potential for a CCS hub that could capture, transport and store CO 2 created by industrial activity throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
ExxonMobil and Pertamina, the state-owned energy company of Indonesia, are evaluating the potential for large-scale deployment of low-carbon technologies in Indonesia. By jointly examining subsurface data, the companies expect to identify geologic formations deep underground that could be suitable to safely store CO 2 .
CNOOC, ExxonMobil, Shell and Guangdong Province have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore a carbon capture and storage pilot project at the Dayawan Industrial Park in Huizhou. It could capture up to 10 million metric tons of CO 2 per year, pending a joint study, and support China’s ambition for carbon neutrality by 2060.
Capture and store CO 2 in Houston
Carbon capture and storage could help the city of Houston meet its climate leadership aspirations and achieve its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 . ExxonMobil is one of several companies collaborating on a carbon capture and storage plan that could effectively decarbonize major industrial areas like the Houston Ship Channel.
The Houston industrial area is ideally suited for deploying CCS technology on a large scale, due to the large concentration of industrial emissions that are near expansive underground geological formations along the Gulf of Mexico coast and under the seabed. According to ExxonMobil’s analysis of U.S. Department of Energy estimates, these formations could hold about 500 billion metric tons of CO 2 .
What is the potential for CCS in Houston?ExxonMobil is one of several companies with operations in the greater Houston area that have expressed interest in capturing CO 2 emissions from their petrochemical, manufacturing and power generation facilities. The CO 2 would then be stored in natural geologic formations deep underground.
What opportunity does CCS present?CCS could enable the United States to safely capture and store hundreds of millions of metric tons of CO 2 each year from industrial facilities that otherwise would go into the atmosphere. It’s one of the few proven technologies with the potential to significantly reduce emissions from manufacturing and heavy industry.
What are the potential environmental and economic benefits for Houston?In addition to creating thousands of new jobs, the city of Houston could become a leader in the transition to a lower-carbon energy future. With appropriate government, industry and community backing, the participating companies believe they could safely capture and permanently store about 50 million metric tons of CO 2 annually by 2030 and double that by 2040, moving Houston toward its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050.
How will Porthos work?
The Porthos CO 2 storage pipeline
In the Netherlands, ExxonMobil is working with a coalition of government and industry partners to advance the Port of Rotterdam CO 2 Transportation Hub and Offshore Storage (Porthos) project. The infrastructure will enable industrial sites in the port, like ExxonMobil’s petrochemical complex, to capture and supply CO 2 to a shared pipeline.
With potential support from the European and Dutch governments, the initiatives could position ExxonMobil’s Rotterdam refinery as an attractive location for a hydrogen project with CCS and for pilot testing ExxonMobil’s carbonate fuel cell technology.
The Porthos infrastructure will offer a way to transport and permanently store captured CO 2 . After the CO 2 is pressurized in a compressor station, it will be transported through an offshore pipeline to the storage site, an empty natural gas field located approximately 20 km off the Dutch coast deep beneath the North Sea seabed.
Current plans aim for having the Porthos infrastructure built and functioning by the end of 2023.
Read more about the Porthos project here