ExxonMobil and carbon capture and storage: A Texas-sized call to action

Low Carbon Solutions business calls for carbon capture and storage concept that could effectively decarbonize industrial areas like the Houston Ship Channel

ExxonMobil and carbon capture and storage: A Texas-sized call to action

Our plan

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is one of the few proven technologies that could enable some heavy-emitting sectors to decarbonize, such as manufacturing and heavy industry. We’ve been studying the concept of multi-user CCS zones in major industrial areas that are located near safe geologic storage sites. We believe the Houston Ship Channel is ideally suited for a CCS project of this magnitude, and ExxonMobil is well-placed to help lead this challenging, complex project.

"As the world’s leader in CCS, with about 40% of the total anthropogenic CO2 captured to date and multiple CCS projects underway around the world, ExxonMobil is eager to play our part to advance this promising concept."

~ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Darren Woods

More on ExxonMobil’s 30 years of CCS leadership 

A bold plan to capture and store CO2

CCS could enable the United States to safely capture and store hundreds of millions of metric tons of CO2 each year that otherwise would be released into the atmosphere.
Joe Blommaert

President, ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions

This concept could help the city of Houston meet its climate leadership aspirations and achieve its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

Frequently asked questions

What is carbon capture and storage?

Also known as carbon capture and sequestration, it is the process by which carbon dioxide from power-plant combustion and other industrial sources that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere is captured, compressed and injected into underground geologic formations for safe, secure and permanent storage. Learn more

Why did the Company create ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions?

To commercialize and deploy technologies that will have a demonstrable impact on lowering emissions.

Learn more

Why now?

ExxonMobil believes, and experts agree, that CCS will need to play a critical role if the United States and other countries are to meet the emissions-reduction goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. In 2018, we formed a Carbon Capture Venture to identify and develop potential CCS opportunities. Progress on these efforts led to the establishment of the ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions business, which is positioning us to participate even more effectively in global efforts to deploy CCS at scale. Learn more

In addition to CCS, what is ExxonMobil doing to reduce emissions?

In the upstream, ExxonMobil programs focus on reducing methane emissions, flaring and venting. Downstream emission-reduction efforts include cogeneration, a process that simultaneously produces electricity while capturing useful heat or steam for industrial uses. Learn more

Critical technology

The International Energy Agency calls CCS one of the critical technologies required to achieve net-zero emissions and the climate goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. 

ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions plans:

  • Focus initially on carbon capture and storage, as well as hydrogen production and other lower-carbon opportunities
  • Leverage ExxonMobil’s experience and capabilities
  • Promote supportive policies and regulatory frameworks
  • Establish partnerships and coalitions 
  • Invest ~$3 billion on lower-emission energy solutions through 2025, adding to the more than $10 billion ExxonMobil has invested since 2000

Cumulative volume of CO2 captured since 1970

(Million metric tons)

Source: Global CCS Institute 2020 report and ExxonMobil analysis of 2020 facility data

120M metric tons of CO2  - more than any other company

ExxonMobil has cumulatively captured more CO2 than any other company – 120 million metric tons – accounting for approximately 40 percent of all the anthropogenic CO2 that has ever been captured.

eye on porthos

CCS Spotlight: The Porthos CO2 storage pipeline

In the Netherlands, ExxonMobil is working with a coalition of government and industry partners to advance the Port of Rotterdam CO2 Transportation Hub and Offshore Storage (Porthos) project. The infrastructure will enable industrial sites in the port, like ExxonMobil’s petrochemical complex, to capture and supply CO2 to a shared pipeline, so it can be stored deep beneath the North Sea seabed 20km off the Dutch coast.

With potential support from the European and Dutch governments, the initiatives could position ExxonMobil’s Rotterdam refinery as an attractive location for a hydrogen project with CCS and for pilot testing ExxonMobil’s carbonate fuel cell technology. 

The Porthos infrastructure will offer companies a way to transport and permanently store captured CO2. Different companies will supply CO2 to a shared pipeline that runs through the port area. After the CO2 is pressurized in a compressor station, it will be transported through an offshore pipeline to the storage site, an empty natural gas field located approximately 20 km off the Dutch coast.

ExxonMobil – a leader in CCS with more than 30 years of experience in developing and deploying CCS technologies – has been involved in the Porthos project from the early days of its conception.

“We are committed to reducing CO2 at our Rotterdam petrochemical complex,” says Harro van de Rhee, ExxonMobil’s CO2 Reduction Strategy Venture Executive for Europe. “This is why we've been engaged in realizing the promise of the Porthos project.

“We believe that having a backbone and infrastructure to transport and store CO2 is going to be a competitive advantage for the Port of Rotterdam," according to Harro. "For ExxonMobil, this infrastructure will facilitate future CCS projects at our petrochemical complex in Rotterdam." 

Not only will the project offer the Port of Rotterdam a competitive advantage, Harro notes, “it would also position our Rotterdam site as an attractive location for CCS technology demonstration plants, like the Carbonate Fuel Cell technology.”

Current plans aim for having the Porthos infrastructure built and functioning by the end of 2023. 

Read more about the Porthos project here. 

How will Porthos work?

energy factor

Carbon Capture and Storage

ExxonMobil is researching essential carbon capture and storage solutions to remove excess CO2  from the environment

Learn more

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Emissions and Climate