Fri. Sep 22nd, 2023
    Exxon Mobil Working on Carbon Capture Technology, But Not Investing in Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

    Exxon Mobil Corp is actively developing technology for direct air capture (DAC) of carbon dioxide as part of its low carbon solutions business. The company sees a clear future for DAC in achieving a net-zero carbon emissions goal, according to Matthew Crocker, senior vice president of product, strategy, and new assets. Direct air capture is the process of removing carbon directly from the atmosphere, which is considered essential in addressing global warming. However, the current cost of DAC is a major barrier, ranging from $600 to $1,000 per ton of carbon removed.

    Exxon has extended its joint research agreement with DAC developer Global Thermostat to accelerate the development of the technology. The company believes DAC could complement its carbon capture and storage (CCS) business, which involves capturing and storing carbon emissions underground.

    While Exxon is exploring low carbon solutions, it has no plans to invest in building electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Crocker stated that EV charging stations are not an area where the company can bring significant competitive advantage. Exxon’s energy transition strategy is focused on reducing carbon emissions through CCS and investing in hydrogen and biofuels.

    On the other hand, U.S. oil producer Occidental Petroleum has made a final investment decision to build approximately 100 DAC plants throughout the country. Occidental sees the potential in DAC and aims to become a major player in the industry. However, Exxon’s approach is primarily centered around reducing its own emissions and expanding its CCS capabilities rather than investing in renewable energy sources like solar and wind.

    This decision aligns with Exxon’s $17 billion plan to invest in its Low Carbon business through 2022-2027. The majority of this investment will be directed towards limiting emissions and expanding CCS projects.

    Although several European oil majors have made investments in EV charging stations as part of their energy transition strategy, Exxon believes it cannot bring its unique capabilities into that space and therefore does not plan to invest in it.

    In summary, Exxon Mobil is focusing on the development of direct air capture technology for carbon dioxide as part of its low carbon solutions business. The company sees potential in DAC, but the high costs are currently a challenge. Exxon’s energy transition strategy centers around reducing carbon emissions and investing in CCS, hydrogen, and biofuels. However, the company does not plan to invest in electric vehicle charging stations, as it believes it does not have a significant competitive advantage in that area.

    – Reuters article, “Exxon looks at DAC technology, but not EV charging stations,” published on September 19, 2021.