ExxonMobil has said it is on track to meet its 2025 emissions reduction targets by the end of this year — four years earlier than planned — and has vowed to ramp up investments to further cut emissions.

The US supermajor said it is now working on more aggressive reduction plans, which will be accelerated from an increase in the company’s investment into its low-carbon initiatives.

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ExxonMobil initially announced it would invest $3 billion into its initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through 2025 but has now upped that to $15 billion over the next six years.

Much of the spending is directed toward its Low Carbon Solutions business, which works to lower emissions in hard-to-decarbonise sectors like heavy industry, commercial transportation and power generation.

Finding a carbon price

The first project announced by the low-carbon solutions business is a carbon capture and storage (CCS) hub at the Houston Ship Channel.

By 2040, the hub plans to capture and store 100 million tonnes per annum of carbon dioxide from a variety of facilities in the area. Eleven companies have expressed interest in participating in the hub.

During a recent congressional inquiry that put oil and gas executives on the stand, ExxonMobil chief executive Darren Woods said the price on carbon required for the hub is $100 per tonne but may differ project to project.

Earlier this year, a lobbyist for ExxonMobil told Greenpeace activists pretending to be headhunters that the company’s ostensible support for a carbon tax was merely a talking point, but that a policy change in the US would be a “nonstarter”.

While ExxonMobil did not initially announce what carbon price would be needed for its Houston project, it publicly supported national carbon pricing, and later clarified that there is some market hesitancy to a national carbon tax.

But other carbon-pricing options focus on market-based mechanisms, and ExxonMobil said scaling up low-carbon programmes will give the market a better idea of the costs, and therefore preferred prices of carbon.

Last week, ExonMobil signed a memorandum of understanding with national oil company Pertamina to evaluate the potential for the large-scale deployment of low-carbon technologies in Indonesia.

Under the MoU, the companies will identify potential subsurface CO2 storage locations and will examine the feasibility of transporting CO2 in Southeast Asia.