ExxonMobil plans $400mn Wyoming CCS expansion
US supermajor ExxonMobil said October 21 it had initiated plans to expand carbon capture and storage (CCS) capabilities at its LaBarge natural gas field in Wyoming by about 1mn mt/yr of CO2.
Natural gas from LaBarge contains a large CO2 component – about 65% – with methane (21%), nitrogen (7%), H2S (5%) and helium (0.6%) making up the remainder of the gas stream processed at ExxonMobil’s Shute Creek treating facility. Various CCS expansions at the facility since the field began producing in 1986 have increased CO2 capture to as much as 7mn mt/yr, most of which is used in enhanced oil recovery operations.
The company said it was now requesting bid for engineering, procurement and construction for the expansion, which represents an investment estimated at $400mn.
“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. “This technology is critical to help meet society’s lower-emissions goals, and with the right policies in place, is immediately deployable. ExxonMobil has long supported policies that provide a predictable price on carbon emissions, which enable new or expanded carbon capture and storage investments.”
The announcement of CCS expansion plans at LaBarge came a day after reports surfaced that ExxonMobil’s board, under pressure from three members associated with activist investor Engine No 1, was “debating” the future of several of the company’s major oil and gas projects, including its $30bn LNG development in Mozambique and another multi-billion-dollar investment in Vietnam, according to the Reutersnews service, citing a report from the Wall Street Journal.
A final investment decision on the LaBarge expansion is expected in 2022, pending a resolution of several factors, including regulatory approvals. Operations could begin as early as 2025.
LaBarge is the centrepiece of ExxonMobil’s global CCS activities, and accounts for nearly 20% of all CO2 captured globally each year.