The largest US oil major Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE: XOM) announced on Thursday it has begun design studies for a new carbon capture and storage (CCS) hub in the Gippsland Basin, southeast Australia.
The goal of the carbon capture hub is to reduce emissions of industrial sites in the region. It would use existing infrastructure to store CO2 in the depleted Bream field off the coast of Gippsland in the state of Victoria.
According to the company it is currently in discussions with local emissions-intensive industries that could be interested in benefiting from the hub to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from their operations.
“Collaboration with other industries is an important step to unlock future carbon capture and storage opportunities for Australia, with the potential for large-scale reductions in the highest emitting industrial sectors,” said Joe Blommaert, Exxon’s Low Carbon Solutions President.
The carbon capture infrastructure for the hub would have the capacity to store up to 2 million tons of CO2 per year and is expected to become operational by 2025 if technical and business feasibility studies are confirmed.
Exxon is currently working on the initial steps towards creating what could be the largest carbon capture and storage project in the world in Houston, announced last year. The proposed hub is estimated to cost around $100 billion and should store around 10 million tons of CO2 annually. The Houston hub is expected to accomplish 50 million tons of CO2 capture and storage per year by 2030 and 100 million t/yr by 2040.
Exxon is accelerating efforts to reduce its carbon footprint while also delivering value to shareholders. Emissions mitigation is an important part of the strategy of oil and gas companies that want to stay in business going forward.