ExxonMobil proposes $100B carbon capture hub, but there’s a catch

ExxonMobil Corp. has proposed a giant, $100 billion hub to capture carbon dioxide emissions along the Texas Gulf Coast but warns that government funding would be required to develop it, The Houston Chronicle reports.

In what would be the world’s biggest carbon capture and sequestration project, ExxonMobil along with a multitude of private and public partners would build a facility to collect emissions from refineries, petrochemical plants and other industrial facilities along the Houston Ship Channel, says Joe Blommaert, president of ExxonMobil’s new low-carbon business, in a blog post.

Early projections show such a facility could bury 50 million tons a year beneath the Gulf by 2030, more than all CCS projects currently operating globally. ExxonMobil says that figure could double by 2040.

Old oil and gas formations in the Gulf have long been seen as having the potential to store large quantities of carbon dioxide but the challenge has been paying for it. Under the current regulatory environment it’s cheaper to simply let the pollutants float away into the atmosphere. Exxon says the project could reduce the country’s carbon footprint significantly so long as government provides companies with the right financial incentives.

“It will need government and private-sector funding, as well as enhanced regulatory and legal frameworks that enable investment and innovation,” ExxonMobil says. Read the full story.