ExxonMobil has proposed a public-private carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, which would require an investment of more than $100bn.
The project would collect carbon dioxide emitted by industrial facilities, including oil refineries and petrochemical plants, located along the Houston Ship Channel in the US.
The collected emissions would then be transported via pipeline for storage in reservoirs deep under the Gulf of Mexico.
The proposal has been floated by the oil major firm ahead of the virtual US climate summit, which is scheduled for 22-23 April.
At the summit, where 40 world leaders have been invited, US President Joe Biden plans to announce carbon emission reduction targets for the country.
ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions business president Joe Blommaert said: “We could create an economy of scale where we can reduce the cost of the carbon dioxide mitigation, create jobs and reduce the emissions.”
Blommaert was cited by Financial Times as saying that CCS ‘should be a key part of the US strategy for meeting its Paris goals and included as part of the administration’s upcoming Nationally Determined Contributions’.
ExxonMobil is seeking potential partners for the proposed carbon storage project, which would require support from federal, state and local government agencies.
However, concerns are being raised on carbon capture programmes to offset emissions by Carbon Tracker Initiative, a think-tank that assesses the clean fuel transition’s financial implications.
Carbon Tracker Initiative North American office executive director Rob Schuwerk said: “It is not something that’s going to save them from having to go through the energy transition.”
Schuwerk added that CO₂ storage underground ‘is not going to be a solution that works to preserve fossil fuel industries for an extended period of time’.
The proposal comes close on the heels of ExxonMobil launching a new business unit, Low Carbon Solutions, in February to focus on new CCS opportunities.
The company said it is advancing up to 20 new plans with a planned investment of $3bn until 2025.