ExxonMobil appears to be working on the initial steps towards creating what could be the largest carbon capture and storage project in the world. The proposed cluster close to the Houston Ship Channel could be final destination of vast quantities of greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector nearby.
Exxon reportedly bid $158,000 for each of the 94 drilling leases. All of the listed locations were a considerable distance from the usually sought after deep-water natural gas and oil fields. And perhaps it’s not a coincidence that the company also published a carbon capture video several days ago.
There was also no competition for the leases when they were announced this Wednesday by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
Exxon declined to disclose what their plans were for the leases, but spokseman Todd Spitler did commented that: “We will work with the Department of Interior on plans for the blocks once they are awarded. We are evaluating/analyzing the seismic/subsurface geology for future commercial potential.”
The as of yet unconfirmed cluster would be able to store 50 million tons of carbon dioxide per annum by 2030 and double its capacity by 2040, according to the company. Exxon proposed the hub partnership in April 2021 and have been making the case for government support for it, although the details of that support are yet to be discussed.