Our first lithium well – but “not our first rodeo” 

Key takeaways:

  • Work's underway in Arkansas on our plan to produce lithium for electric vehicles
  • Our lithium wells are leveraging technologies ExxonMobil’s proven over decades

Dylan Vint got married in December to his high school sweetheart, Brooke. But the young engineer also had another milestone to celebrate last month: the success of ExxonMobil’s first lithium well. 

Dylan’s the lead drilling engineer for our lithium project in Arkansas. It’s an early step in our landmark plan to become a significant producer of the metal – a key material for electric vehicle batteries – by tapping lithium-rich brines thousands of feet underground. 

It’s a relatively new way to produce lithium, with less environmental impact than current methods like hard-rock mining. Some have called it a potential game-changer for the lithium industry. 

But as Dylan notes, the drilling and well construction techniques we’re using in our lithium project are very similar to ones we use to extract oil and natural gas – a process we’ve refined and improved over decades.

“This may be our first lithium well, but it’s not our first rodeo,” he said. “We're using the same tactics, the same tools, the same technologies. We’re just going after a different resource.” 

And that’s an advantage. Because we’re experts in operating wells safely and efficiently. Last year alone, we drilled 400+ wells around the world – more than one a day on average!

A successful start

This advantage is on display in Arkansas, where work was safely completed on our first lithium well, with more already underway. 

These “appraisal wells” are gathering information about underground reservoirs, and sampling the brine from which lithium can be extracted. Commercial production is targeted for 2027. By 2030, we aim to produce enough lithium to support the manufacture of about 1 million EVs. 

We all think it’s exciting to be applying our drilling and wells expertise to delivering a new resource, one that will aid in the energy transition.
Dylan Vint

Lead drilling engineer for our lithium project in Arkansas

All these wells are designed and executed by our Global Low Carbon Solutions & Well Management wells team. Collectively, these men and women have more than 100 years’ experience in both onshore and offshore operations. Dylan said their wisdom and mentorship has been essential to the safe and successful execution of our lithium program. 

“We all think it’s exciting to be applying our drilling and wells expertise to delivering a new resource, one that will aid in the energy transition,” Dylan said.

He said the team also appreciates how welcoming the local Arkansas community has been (“at Thanksgiving, they brought us pies!”). The warmth’s been reciprocal – ExxonMobil employees and contractors organized a holiday toy drive that collected more than 150 toys and gift cards that we donated to the Magnolia Housing Authority

An unexpected career twist 

A Houston native, Dylan said his first exposure to the industry was an internship he landed at XTO after attending a career fair at Baylor University, where he earned his degree in mechanical engineering. “I had no idea I wanted to work in oil and gas, but they sent me to the Permian, and I fell in love with it,” he said.

But he’s also still a bit amazed at the shift into a new resource: “If someone had told me that someday I’d be drilling for lithium, I would have laughed. It blows my mind.” 

Click here to learn more about ExxonMobil’s lithium plan, and click here to learn more about our lithium solutions for businesses. 

Explore more

Charging into the lithium business

Charging into the lithium business

Key takeaways:

  • We’re planning to become a major supplier of lithium, a key material for electric vehicle batteries.
  • We’re making this happen because of our expertise in geoscience, engineering and chemical processing. Not to mention our ability to deliver large projects.
  • Our people make the difference – from geoscientists to lab technicians to engineering and project experts, we bring unique skills to the table.
Sneak preview: our new lithium business

Sneak preview: our new lithium business

Key takeaways:

  • New animated video highlights our lithium plan in Arkansas
  • We'll look to tap brine deep underground, produce lithium above ground
  • Less environmental impact than current methods
Rock on, Jen! How a geoscientist looks for lithium

Rock on, Jen! How a geoscientist looks for lithium

Key takeaways: 

  • Lithium project underway in Arkansas
  • We’re reaching lithium deep underground
  • Geoscience is key to the project’s success
Making progress on lithium  and making a difference

Making progress on lithium … and making a difference

Key takeaways:

  • Excitement builds in Arkansas over lithium 
  • We're making fast progress on our lithium plan
  • We've also created a new $100K endowment for local counties
Listen up! Were talking lithium

Listen up! We’re talking lithium

Curious about our plans to produce lithium? Check out our guest spot on the Global Lithium Podcast.


Lithium is a key component of electric vehicle batteries. To meet projected growth in EVs, the world will need a lot more lithium. ExxonMobil plans to become of leading supplier of lithium, using a modern process that has significantly less environmental impact than traditional mining.