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ExxonMobil announces new targets for carbon emissions per barrel

ExxonMobil has expanded its targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions with each barrel of oil it pumps, adopting them across its operations but avoiding the deeper emissions cuts achieved by its European rivals. approved.

The U.S. energy regulator says it aims to reduce greenhouse gas concentrations company-wide by 20-30% by 2030. Exxon’s previous goal was to reduce intensity by 15-20% by 2025 for with “upstream” oil and gas production. , the business, which it said was achieved this year.

The updated capital expenditure and emissions plans released on Wednesday are the first since Exxon lost chair in a proxy battle with activist hedge fund Engine No 1, which argues the company is not well prepared for a lower-carbon future.

Carbon intensity is a measure of emissions per unit of output. Activists have criticized Exxon to use this measure, rather than absolute emissions, because it allows total emissions to increase if fossil fuel production increases. However, Exxon says its updated plans will result in 20% lower “company-wide” emissions by 2030.

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Exxon’s new targets are limited to emissions arising from the company’s operations, not from consumers burning the fuel the company sells. Exxon’s European colleagues BP and Royal Dutch Shell said it would cut oil and gas output over time to meet emissions targets that include fuel combustion.

Texas-based Exxon plans to spend a total of $15 billion on new emissions reduction efforts through 2027, or about $2.5 billion a year. The company’s total planned capital expenditure is between $20 billion and $25 billion a year through the end of 2027, up from about $16 billion in this year’s pandemic-affected budget.

Chevron, Exxon’s biggest competitor in the US, said in September that it would spend 10 billion dollars into low-carbon projects until the end of 2028. Both companies have committed to a much lower share of total clean energy spending than their European rivals.

Planned capital expenditures at Exxon remain well below 35 billion dollars in annual spending, the company planned before the pandemic pushed down world oil demand. Engine No 1 argued during its proxy campaign earlier this year that management was overspending, putting Exxon’s precious dividend at risk.

Oil super managers enjoyed a increase profits This year was largely due to higher oil and natural gas prices. Darren Woods, Exxon’s chief executive, said the company’s “improved financial outlook” has supported more investment in “highly profitable projects and a growing list of business opportunities lower emissions has the potential for increasing financial accumulation.”

Much of Exxon’s future spending will focus on new projects in Guyana, where the company has discovered massive crude oil reserves off the coast of South America and in the Permian basin in Texas and New Mexico. America’s largest oil field.

The company says the plans will allow it to double earnings by 2027 from $14.3 billion in 2019.

The $15 billion in low-carbon spending will be split between efforts to cut emissions from the company’s own operations, largely through reducing methane leaks and gas flares, as well as into new carbon capture and storage projects, or CCS, hydrogen and biofuel projects.

The company outlined a range of potential carbon capture and biofuel projects this year, such as the construction CCS Super Center 100 billion dollars in Houston, but many of those projects will need huge subsidies or carbon prices to get built.

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