ExxonMobil provided an update to its Corporate Plan 2027, outlining its $20 billion push to lower emissions, as well as expanding its presence in lithium and biofuels.
ExxonMobil, one of the largest publicly traded international energy and petrochemical companies, plans to pursue $20 billion of lower-emissions opportunities through 2027, up from an initial $3 billion in projects identified in early 2021.
The opportunities are in addition to the company’s recent investments in carbon capture and storage. In November, the company acquired Denbury in an all-cash $4.9 billion deal that gave ExxonMobil the largest owned and operated carbon dioxide pipeline network in the United States. The oil giant said the deal expanded carbon capture and storage opportunities through access to the pipeline.
Big Oil’s Climate Efforts
While ExxonMobil has set its sights on lowering emissions and investing in carbon capture and storage technologies, such strategies have been criticized for their overall lack of impact on climate change.
One recent study from InfluenceMap’s LobbyMap platform revealed corporate advocacy for carbon capture and storage is falling short of climate change goals recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — and oil and gas companies may be the worst offenders. The study found that oil and gas companies tend to be the biggest supporters of carbon capture and storage, but the technologies aren’t necessarily aligned with recommended climate change goals. And they aren’t using carbon capture as a means to move away from fossil fuels.
ExxonMobil stated it is making progress on its plan to reduce upstream operated greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 40% to 50% by 2030, compared with 2016 levels. Plus, the company said it has already achieved approximately half of this planned reduction.
However, its emission reduction plan also comes with an increase in fossil fuel operations, with oil and gas production in 2024 expected to be about 3.8 million oil-equivalent barrels per day, rising to about 4.2 million oil-equivalent barrels per day by 2027.
“By any measure, our plans have and will continue to deliver exceptional value,” ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Darren Woods said in a statement. “We remain committed to providing the energy and products that raise living standards around the world while building a new business to reduce emissions in hard-to-decarbonize parts of the economy. ExxonMobil is uniquely equipped to do both, and we’re confident that both present significant opportunities for profitable growth.”
ExxonMobil’s Strategy Includes More Lithium, Biofuels, and Carbon Capture Work
The company’s plans include opportunities in lithium, hydrogen, biofuels, and carbon capture and storage, with the expectation they will generate returns of approximately 15% and could reduce third-party emissions by more than 50 metric tons per year by 2030.
ExxonMobil is also focusing on its position in lithium, including geoscience, reservoir management, and efficient drilling skills. Its efforts in the space will result in strong returns and a lower environmental impact, the company said. By 2030, ExxonMobil expects it will produce enough lithium to meet the manufacturing needs of roughly 1 million electric vehicles per year.
“We continue to see more opportunities to harness our technology, scale, and capabilities to implement real solutions to lower emissions and to profitably grow our Low Carbon Solutions business,” Woods said. “Success in accelerating emission reductions requires the development of nascent markets. We need technology-neutral durable policy support, transparent carbon pricing and accounting, and ultimately, customer commitments to support increased investment. We’re actively advocating for each of these areas so we can grow a profitable, and ultimately large, low carbon business.”