Exxon is advancing carbon capture developments overseas. The oil major signed a Cooperation Agreement with Neptune Energy, Rosewood Exploration Ltd., and EBN Capital B.V. to progress with the L10 large-scale offshore carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in the Dutch North Sea.
The L10 carbon capture project has the capacity to store safely 4-5 million tonnes of CO2 annually for industrial customers within depleted gas fields around the Neptune-operated L10-A, B and E areas. The estimated storage potential in the Dutch North Sea is around 120-150 million tonnes of CO2.
If developed according to plan, it would be one of the largest CCS facilities in the Dutch North Sea and could meet more than 50% of the CO2 reduction targeted by the Dutch industrial sector.
“ExxonMobil welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with industry and the government in support of the L10 carbon capture and storage project… Carbon capture and storage is a proven, ready-to-deploy technology that can help reduce emissions in some of the highest-emitting sectors and advance society’s net-zero goals,” said Dan Ammann, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions.
According to Neptune Energy’s Managing Director in the Netherlands, Lex de Groot, carbon capture and storage is crucial for achieving the Dutch climate goals for 2030.
He sees the Cooperation Agreement as a significant step in the development of the Neptune-operated L10 project. The company’s strategy aims to go beyond net zero and store more carbon than is emitted from its operations, sold products, scope 1 and scope 3 emissions by 2030.
The next stage of the project is to have it FEED-ready by the end of the year, which would be followed by a submission of a storage license application. The companies will reuse existing infrastructure which will save on costs and additional emissions on this part of the project.
Large-scale carbon capture and storage projects are a critical part of the decarbonization pathway of several hard-to-abate industries, including oil and gas majors like Exxon. Industrial emitters from various sectors cannot cease their business operations immediately and need more time to adapt to the net-zero economy, therefore, for many of them, carbon capture is used as a transitory tool to facilitate this process.
Unfortunately, others are still using the technology as leverage to do the minimum of what they know they need to be doing to have a real impact on the climate crisis.