digging in

ExxonMobil breaks ground on Texas carbon dioxide storage project

The rig stands 225 feet tall and extends 8,000 feet below the subsurface. Photo via exxonmobil.com

ExxonMobil announced this month that it has officially broken ground on a groundbreaking carbon dioxide storage site.

According to a release from the company, a new rig is currently being used to gather information about an underground site in Southeast Texas. The rig stands 225 feet tall, but more importantly extends 8,000 feet below the subsurface to investigate if the site is a safe place to store carbon underground.

“Everyone’s excited about this appraisal well because we’re literally breaking ground on a new chapter of our work to help reduce industrial emissions,” Joe Colletti, who oversees carbon capture and storage development along the Gulf Coast for Exxon, says in a statement.

Exxon plans to move the rig to other sites in the Gulf Coast in the future for clients Nucor Corp., CF Industries and Linde.

In the last year, Exxon has made agreements with these regional companies to store carbon captured from their operations.

  • Exxon agreed to transport and permanently store up to 2.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year from Linde’s hydrogen production facility in Beaumont, Texas when it launches in 2025.
  • Exxon agreed to store up to 2 million metric tons per year of CO2 captured from CF Industries’ ammonia plant in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, starting in 2025.
  • Exxon agreed to capture, transport and store up to 800,000 metric tons per year of CO2 from Nucor’s direct reduced iron manufacturing site in Convent, Louisiana starting in 2026.

Together, the three agreements represent a total of 5 million metric tons per year that Exxon plans to transport and store for third-party customers.

“Our agreement with Nucor is the latest example of how we’re delivering on our mission to help accelerate the world's path to net zero and build a compelling new business,” Dan Ammann, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions, says in a statement over the summer. “Momentum is building as customers recognize our ability to solve emission challenges at scale.”

In addition to the carbon storage agreements, the energy giant also completed the acquisition of Denbury Inc. this month in an all-stock transaction valued at $4.9 billion. The deal adds more than 1,300 miles, including nearly 925 miles of CO2 pipelines in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi to Exxon's CO2 pipeline network.

The deal was first announced this summer.

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A View From HETI

The combined technology portfolios will accelerate the introduction of promising early-stage decarbonization technology. Photo via Getty Images

SLB announced its plans to combine its carbon capture business with Norway company, Aker Carbon Capture.

Upon completion of the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of this year, SLB will own 80 percent of the combined business and ACC will own 20 percent.

According to a SLB news release, the combined technology portfolios will accelerate the introduction of promising early-stage decarbonization technology.

“For CCUS to have the expected impact on supporting global net-zero ambitions, it will need to scale up 100-200 times in less than three decades,” Olivier Le Peuch, CEO of SLB, says in the release. “Crucial to this scale-up is the ability to lower capture costs, which often represent as much as 50-70% of the total spend of a CCUS project.

The International Energy Agency estimates that over one gigaton of CO2 every year year will need to be captured by 2030 — a figure that scales up to over six gigatons by 2050.

"We are excited to create this business with ACC to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture technologies that will shift the economics of carbon capture across high-emitting industrial sectors,” Le Peuch continues.

SLB is slated to pay NOK 4.12 billion — around $379.4 million — to own 80 percent of Aker Carbon Capture Holding AS, which owns ACC, per the news release, and SLB may also pay up to NOK 1.36 billion over the next three years, depending on business performance.

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