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ExxonMobil mulls USD100 bln carbon storage project under the Gulf of Mexico

April 21/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil, the largest private US company, has floated a proposal for a public-private carbon storage project that would collect planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions from US petrochemical plants and bury them in deep under the Gulf of Mexico, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The plan would require "USD100 billion or more" from companies and government agencies to store 50 million metric tons of CO2 by 2030, with capacity potentially doubling by 2040, Joe Blommaert, president of Exxon's Low Carbon Solutions business, said in an interview.

Blommaert outlined the plan on Monday, about two months after the largest U.S. oil producer appointed him to run a new Low Carbon Solutions business that could profit from selling carbon-reduction technology and services.

Houston has a large concentration of "hard-to-decarbonize" industry near the Gulf, said Blommaert. "We could create an economy of scale where we can reduce the cost of the carbon dioxide mitigation, create jobs and reduce the emissions," he said.

Exxon, which suffered a USD22.4 billion loss last year, is battling shareholder groups that want the company to shift to cleaner fuels, including a hedge fund that wants four board seats to drive proposed changes. Exxon has pledged to increase spending on low-carbon projects and lower the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions.

While many oil and gas companies have seized on carbon capture programs to offset emissions, "it is not something that's going to save them from having to go through the energy transition," said Rob Schuwerk, executive director of the North American office of Carbon Tracker Initiative, a think-tank that analyzes the financial implications of a clean fuel transition.

Burying carbon dioxide underground "is not going to be a solution that works to preserve fossil fuel industries for an extended period of time," said Schuwerk.

The carbon storage project is proposed for the Houston Ship Channel, a 50-mile (80-km) long waterway that is part of the Port of Houston and home to dozens of refineries and chemical plants. Exxon acknowledges that the proposal will require enormous support from other companies and from federal, state and local government agencies.

The company is contacting potential partners on the project among its refining and chemical rivals.

The project aims to capture CO2 from the 50 largest industrial emitters along the Houston Ship Channel, said Guy Powell, vice president of Low Carbon Solutions. CO2 would be piped to offshore reservoirs up to 6,000 feet (1.83 km) below the sea floor, he said.

Exxon projects carbon capture will be a USD2 trillion market by 2040. The company has supported a carbon tax that would use market incentives to reduce emissions and supported the United States rejoining the Paris climate accord.

As MRC informed previously, Sinopec Engineering (Group) and ExxonMobil (Huizhou) Chemical (EMHCC) have just entered into a BEPC (basic design, engineering, procurement and construction) contract for the proposed Huizhou Chemical Complex Project (Phase I). The main units of the project include a 1.6 million tonnes/year ethylene flexible feed steam cracker, downstream polymer and derivative units and utilities. The main product units include two performance polyethylene (PE) lines and two differentiated performance polypropylene (PP) lines.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated polyethylene (PE) consumption totalled 356,370 tonnes in the first two month of 2021, down by 9% year on year. Shipments of exclusively low density polyethylene (LDPE) increased. At the same time, polypropylene (PP) shipments to the Russian market was 246,870 tonnes in January-February 2021, up by 30% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world"s oil and about 2% of the world"s energy.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, PP block copolymer, homopolymer PP, propylene, LDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, Exxon Mobil, Sinopec, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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