ExxonMobil Charges Forward Into Lithium Extraction With Latest Deal
A new report said the US supermajor has made its second move in a month to enter the emerging lithium extraction industry.
ExxonMobil is pushing forward in its quest to become a player in the emerging US battery supply chain after inking a new partnership with Tetra Technologies. This is according to Reuters, which reported that the US supermajor is partnering with Tetra to extract lithium from brine across a position encompassing more than 6,100 acres in southern Arkansas.
Earlier this week, Tetra, a completions fluids specialist based in the Houston area, announced it signed a memorandum of understanding with Saltwerx to pool the company’s respective mineral rights across approximately 6,000 acres in Arkansas. Tetra said that a firm agreement with the Arkansas-based brine producer Saltwerx hinges on gaining regulatory approval to start producing the area’s brine that is laden with bromine and lithium.
The development follows ExxonMobil’s reported $100 million acquisition of Galvanic Energy last month along with its 120,000 acres of leases in the Smackover play. The position is estimated to hold as much as 4 million tons of the lithium, which is needed to make electric vehicle batteries.
In addition to its rich lithium reserves, the Jurassic-era Smackover formation is recognized as the world's second-largest bromine supplier, a mineral that likewise can be used to make rechargeable batteries but of a different variety.
In 2021, Tetra reported that it had started commercial production of a clear zinc-bromide fluid, sourced from Arkansas brine, which it supplies to makers of nonlithium batteries and other energy storage applications.