future focused

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

Houston could have ranked higher on a global report of top cities in the world if it had a bit more business diversification. Photo via Getty Images

A new analysis positions the Energy Capital of the World as an economic dynamo, albeit a flawed one.

The recently released Oxford Economics Global Cities Index, which assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the world’s 1,000 largest cities, puts Houston at No. 25.

Houston ranks well for economics (No. 15) and human capital (No. 18), but ranks poorly for governance (No. 184), environment (No. 271), and quality of life (No. 298).

New York City appears at No. 1 on the index, followed by London; San Jose, California; Tokyo; and Paris. Dallas lands at No. 18 and Austin at No. 39.

In its Global Cities Index report, Oxford Economics says Houston’s status as “an international and vertically integrated hub for the oil and gas sector makes it an economic powerhouse. Most aspects of the industry — downstream, midstream, and upstream — are managed from here, including the major fuel refining and petrochemicals sectors.”

“And although the city has notable aerospace and logistics sectors and has diversified into other areas such as biomedical research and tech, its fortunes remain very much tied to oil and gas,” the report adds. “As such, its economic stability and growth lag other leading cities in the index.”

The report points out that Houston ranks highly in the human capital category thanks to the large number of corporate headquarters in the region. The Houston area is home to the headquarters of 26 Fortune 500 companies, including ExxonMobil, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Sysco.

Another contributor to Houston’s human capital ranking, the report says, is the presence of Rice University, the University of Houston and the Texas Medical Center.

“Despite this,” says the report, “it lacks the number of world-leading universities that other cities have, and only performs moderately in terms of the educational attainment of its residents.”

Slower-than-expected population growth and an aging population weaken Houston’s human capital score, the report says.

Meanwhile, Houston’s score for quality is life is hurt by a high level of income inequality, along with a low life expectancy compared with nearly half the 1,000 cities on the list, says the report.

Also in the quality-of-life bucket, the report underscores the region’s variety of arts, cultural, and recreational activities. But that’s offset by urban sprawl, traffic congestion, an underdeveloped public transportation system, decreased air quality, and high carbon emissions.

Furthermore, the report downgrades Houston’s environmental stature due to the risks of hurricanes and flooding.

“Undoubtedly, Houston is a leading business [center] that plays a key role in supporting the U.S. economy,” says the report, “but given its shortcomings in other categories, it will need to follow the path of some of its more well-rounded peers in order to move up in the rankings.”


This article originally ran on InnovationMap.

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