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ExxonMobil updates corporate plan that aims to lower emissions

ExxonMobil has annouonced how it plans to reduce its carbon footprint. Photo via exxonmobil.com

ExxonMobil has updated its corporate plan through 2027, which will reflect their continued strategy to provide the products that work towards lowering emissions.

ExxonMobil is pursuing more than $20 billion of lower-emissions opportunities through 2027. The $20 billion request represents the third increase in the last three years, and is in addition to the company’s recent $5 billion all-stock acquisition of Denbury. Denbury helped expand carbon capture and storage opportunities through access to the largest CO2 pipeline network in the United States.

The portfolio will include opportunities in lithium, hydrogen, biofuels, and carbon capture and storage. The company is expecting that in aggregate it is expected to generate returns of approximately 15 percent and could potentially reduce third-party emissions by more than 50 million tons per annum (MTA) by 2030, which aligns with the company’s goals to combat climate change.

The company’s Low Carbon Solutions business reduces consumer’s greenhouse gas emissions, and will get approximately 50 percent of the planned investments support to help build this core part of ExxonMobil’s goal. The balance of the company’s low carbon capital will be used to reduce its own emissions, which will support its 2030 emission reduction plans and its 2050 Scope 1 and 2 net-zero ambition.

In addition, they are developing a leading position in lithium by fully leveraging its upstream skills in geoscience, reservoir management, efficient drilling, fluid processing, and extraction to separate lithium from brine. The company’s first phase of lithium production in southwest Arkansas is currently underway with first production is expected in 2027, and possible global expansion of the project. ExxonMobil aims to produce enough lithium to supply the manufacturing needs of approximately 1 million EVs per year by 2030.

“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,” Darren Woods, chairman and CEO, says in a news release. “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.”

In the Permian Basin, ExxonMobil is on track to reach net-zero emissions for unconventional operations by 2030. They expect to leverage its Permian greenhouse gas reductions plans to accelerate Pioneer’s net-zero ambition by 15 years (2035 from 2050.)

Recently, ExxonMobil and Pioneer Natural Resources announced an agreement for ExxonMobil to acquire Pioneer, which is an all-stock transaction valued at $59.5 billion, or $253 per share, according to ExxonMobil’s closing price on October 5, 2023. The merger combines Pioneer’s more than 850,000 net acres in the Midland Basin with ExxonMobil’s 570,000 net acres in the Delaware and Midland Basins, of which the companies will have an estimated 16 billion barrels of oil equivalent resource in the Permian.

The plan also intends to deliver $6 billion in additional structural cost reductions by the end of 2027, which should bring the total structural cost savings to $15 billion compared to 2019. Upstream earnings potential is expected to more than double by 2027 versus 2019, which is attributed to investments in high-return, low-cost-of-supply projects.

Other plan highlights included:

  • Expecting capital investments to generate average returns of around 30 percent, with payback periods less than 10 years for greater than 90 percent of the capex.
  • Generated $9 billion in structural cost savings with $6 billion more expected by 2027.
  • Increased pace of share repurchases to $20 billion per year from the Pioneer close through 2025.
  • Oil and gas production in 2024 to be about 3.8 million oil-equivalent barrels per day, rising to about 4.2 million oil-equivalent barrels per day by 2027.
  • Product Solutions is “leveraging scale and technology advantages” to nearly triple earnings potential by 2027 versus 2019.

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A View From HETI

IBM and Boxes recently partnered to integrate the IBM watsonx Assistant into Boxes devices, providing a way for consumer packaged brands to find out more than ever about what its customers like and want. Photo courtesy of Boxes

With the help of a new conversational artificial intelligence platform, a Houston startup is ready to let brands get up close and personal with consumers while minimizing waste.

IBM and Boxes recently partnered to integrate the IBM watsonx Assistant into Boxes devices, providing a way for consumer packaged brands to find out more than ever about what its customers like and want.

The Boxes device, about the size of a 40-inch television screen, dispenses products to consumers in a modern and sustainable spin on the old-fashioned large vending machine.

CEO Fernando Machin Gojdycz learned that business from his entrepreneur father, Carlos Daniel Machin, while growing up in Uruguay.

“That’s where my passion comes from — him,” Gojdycz says of his father. In 2016, Gojdycz founded Boxes in Uruguay with some engineer friends

Funded by a $2,000 grant from the University of Uruguay, the company's mission was “to democratize and economize affordable and sustainable shopping,” in part by eliminating wasteful single-use plastic packaging.

“I worked for one year from my bedroom,” he tells InnovationMap.

Fernando Machin Gojdycz founded Boxes in Uruguay before relocating the company to Greentown Houston. Photo courtesy of Boxes

The device, attached to a wall, offers free samples, or purchased products, in areas of high foot traffic, with a touch-screen interface. Powered by watsonx Assistant, the device asks survey questions of the customer, who can answer or not, on their mobile devices, via a QR code.

In return for completing a survey, customers can get a digital coupon, potentially generating future sales. The software and AI tech tracks sales and consumer preferences, giving valuable real-time market insight.

“This is very powerful,” he says.

Boxes partnered in Uruguay with major consumer brands like Kimberly-Clark, SC Johnson and Unilever, and during COVID, pivoted and offered PPE products. Then, with plans of an expansion into the United States, Boxes in 2021 landed its first U.S. backer, with $120,000 in funding from startup accelerator Techstars.

This led to a partnership with the Minnesota Twins, where Boxes devices at Target Field dispensed brand merchandise like keychains and bottles of field dirt.

Gojdycz says while a company in the Northeast is developing a product similar in size, Boxes is not “targeting traditional spaces.” Its software and integration with AI allows Boxes to seamlessly change the device screen and interface, remotely, as well.

Boxes aims to provide the devices in smaller spaces, like restrooms, where they have a device at the company's headquarters at climate tech incubator Greentown Labs. Boxes also recently added a device at Hewlett Packard Enterprise headquarters in Spring, as part of HPE’s diversity startup program.

Boxes hopes to launch another sustainable innovation later this year, in universities and supermarkets. The company is also developing a device that would offer refillable detergent and personal cleaning products like shampoo and conditioner with a reusable container.

Since plastic packaging accounts for 40 percent of retail price, consumers would pay far less, making a huge difference, particularly for lower-income families, he says.

“We are working to make things happen, because we have tried to pitch this idea,” he says.

Some supermarket retailers worry they may lose money or market share, and that shoppers may forget to bring the refill bottles with them to the store, for example.

“It’s about..the U.S. customer,” he says, “….but we think that sooner or later, it will come.”

Boxes has gotten funding from the accelerator startup branch of Houston-based software company Softeq, as well as Mission Driven Finance, Google for Startups Latino Founders Fund, and Right Side Capital, among others.

“Our primary challenges are scaling effectively with a small, yet compact team and maintaining control over our financial runway,” Gojdycz says.

The company has seven employees, including two on its management team.

Gojdycz says they are actively hiring, particularly in software and hardware engineering, but also in business development.

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This article originally ran on InnovationMap.

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