Emission management

ExxonMobil Sets New Emissions Targets, Inks R&D Agreement With ADNOC

The Texas oil and gas company will trim its carbon footprint in the coming years by building on a low-carbon investment that already totals more than $10 billion.

Source: ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil announced today a list of new steps it will take to lower the oil and gas company’s emissions footprint in support of the climate goals established in the Paris Agreement.

By 2025, the Irving, Texas-based company’s aim is to slash methane emissions by up to half while curbing overall upstream greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by up to 20%.

ExxonMobil also expects to cut its flaring intensity by 35 to 45% during this same timeframe before falling in line with the World Bank initiative that has called for the elimination of routine flaring by 2030. These goals involve Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions from the company’s operated assets.

“These meaningful near-term emission reductions result from our ongoing business-planning process as we work towards industry-leading greenhouse-gas performance across all our business lines,” Darren Woods, CEO of ExxonMobil, said in a statement.

“We respect and support society’s ambition to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, and continue to advocate for policies that promote cost-effective, market-based solutions to address the risks of climate change.”

ExxonMobil said it will begin reporting its Scope 3 emissions, those stemming from the combustion of its products, each year starting in 2021, but cautioned that the newly shared figures “does not ultimately incentivize reductions by the actual emitters.”

The company statement continued: “Meaningful decreases in global greenhouse-gas emissions will require changes in society’s energy choices coupled with the development and deployment of affordable lower-emission technologies.”

The plan also calls for continued funding of emerging low-emissions technologies, an area ExxonMobil says it has spent $10 billion on since 2000.

Around $4 billion of this past spending has involved the company’s global upstream business where energy efficiency has been improved and flaring reduced. Another $3 billion of that figure has been used to build cogeneration plants at downstream sites to reduce emissions and produce electricity.

Additionally, ExxonMobil has renewed its support “for sound policies that put a price on carbon” and said environmental performance will continue to be a deciding factor in executive compensation.

By year’s end, ExxonMobil expects it will have achieved the GHG reduction targets it announced in 2018. These plans called for a 15% reduction in methane emissions and a 25% drop in flaring as compared with 2016 figures.

Abu Dhabi R&D Agreement

In a separate development, ExxonMobil and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) agreed last week to explore joint research-and-development opportunities.

The combined efforts will focus on identifying mutually beneficial technology solutions that could be used across the upstream spectrum, including operations and HSE. Specific areas of interest already identified include nonmetallic materials, field testing, reservoir management, and well monitoring.

ExxonMobil said in a statement that the new agreement will complement its joint venture with ADNOC in the Upper Zakum oil field where the Texas company has held concession rights since 2006. Located more than 50 miles northwest of Abu Dhabi, the Upper Zakum is the second-largest offshore field and the fourth-largest oil field in the world.

As part of an $8-billion expansion project, ExxonMobil and ADNOC are aiming to increase the offshore field’s capacity to 1 million B/D by 2024 with an artificial drilling island and extended-reach drilling technology.