By Dan Molinski

 

Exxon Mobil Corp. said Thursday it plans to spend about $400 million expanding its carbon capture and storage facility in LaBarge, Wyo.

The Wyoming site has already captured more carbon dioxide than any other facility in the world, at about 6-to-7 million metric tons of CO2 each year, or nearly 20% of all C02 captured globally, Exxon said. The expansion project will allow it to capture an additional 1 million tons per year of carbon, it said.

"The expansion of our carbon capture and storage operations at LaBarge underscores our commitment to advancing CCS projects around the world," said Joe Blommaert, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions.

Carbon capture and storage is a way of reducing emissions, which could be critical in the fight against global warming. Major oil companies such as Exxon and Chevron have ratcheted up efforts in recent years to reduce their carbon footprints--in some cases due to pressure from activity investors--by investing in carbon capture and other technologies.

Carbon capture is seen as one way for oil companies to be able to keep producing all of the oil and gas needed to heat people's homes and power people's cars while still reducing pollution and trying to tackle climate change. But some climate advocates have criticized such efforts, saying the focus should be less on cleaning up carbon or storing C02 emissions, and more on transitioning away from fossil fuels altogether to move instead to renewable energy such as solar and wind.

Global oil consumption that was just above 100 million barrels a day before the coronavirus pandemic hit fell to just 85 million barrels a day in May 2020, but has already rebounded to 99 million and will be back near pre-pandemic levels sometime next year, according to the latest data from the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration.

Exxon said a final investment decision on the LaBarge facility expansion is expected next year, and operations could begin in 2025.

 

Write to Dan Molinski at dan.molinski@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 21, 2021 09:14 ET (13:14 GMT)

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