Exxon made a bold announcement on April 19th, 2022. The oil major estimates that the carbon capture and storage market would be valued at $4 trillion by 2050. The figure comes to 60% of the $6.5 trillion market for the oil and gas sector the company predicts by mid-century.
Exxon’s energy transition strategy does not include renewable sources of energy like solar and wind so the company is relying on decarbonization technologies like carbon capture and storage. It is also under increasing pressure from environmental groups and the public to reduce its emissions and as the US largest fossil fuel company – take responsibility for climate change mitigation efforts.
During an investor presentation back in 2021, Exxon announced it sees the carbon capture market as a $2 trillion opportunity. The CEO of ExxonMobil Darren Woods said back then that enhancements in the carbon capture and storage technology pose a unique opportunity for the company and that Exxon supports the goal of reaching net-zero emissions.
Now the company upgraded its projections which confirms its intentions to develop carbon capture and storage as a way of achieving its greenhouse gas reduction goals. Some institutions are also recommending the technology as a pathway towards net zero, however, others claim it should not be used as a tool to delay phasing out fossil fuels.
In an effort to support its decarbonization mission, Exxon also recently hired Dan Ammann, who led the Cruise self-driving unit of General Motors, to become the president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions, starting in May 1.
His mission at GM was to eliminate emissions and reduce traffic and according to Exxon is well-suited to lead the role. His hiring also comes shortly after activist investor Engine No. 1 began its successful campaign to force a more aggressive climate strategy.
Exxon is realizing the potential of carbon capture and storage across its businesses but the company needs to come to the reality that bolder and more aggressive decarbonization measures will be needed to achieve true net zero. Investors and the public will have a hard time settling for greenwashing tactics and less prominent climate actions.