As ExxonMobil has officially entered the battery materials race with its announcement to develop lithium production in the US, sources say the supermajor is in a prime position to exploit its drilling know-how and serve a booming market that is hungry for locally sourced critical materials.

On Monday, ExxonMobil said it would seek to develop the lithium-bearing acreage it acquired rights for in Smackover, Arkansas, with first output expected in 2027.