By Clifford Krauss
© The New York Times Co.
HOUSTON » Exxon Mobil said Monday that it aimed to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from its operations in oil and gas fields in West Texas and New Mexico by 2030.
The announcement is part of Exxon’s previously announced plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its business and comes as activists and some investors have been pressuring the oil industry to do more to fight climate change.
However, Exxon’s goal does not include offsetting emissions from its customers, such as car and truck owners and airlines.
Exxon, the nation’s largest oil company, said it would reach net-zero emissions in the Permian Basin, which straddles the two Southwestern states, by electrifying its operations, improving its ability to detect and capture methane gas and eliminating the routine burning of waste gas emitted from oil wells. The company said it might also employ “nature-based solutions,” which could include planting trees.
Bart Cahir, a senior vice president at Exxon, said the effort “is one of the most ambitious and wide-ranging in the Permian Basin.” He added, “Our people are working hard to help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the products that enable modern life.”
The company, which is based outside Dallas, said its efforts “may include wind, solar hydrogen, natural gas with carbon capture and storage and other emerging technologies.”
It said it would use satellite surveillance and ground-based sensors to monitor for leaks of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.
The company said its plans “will require the support of well-designed policies and advances in technology that increase availability and reliability of carbon-neutral power in the region, including wind and solar.”
Texas has long been a leader in wind energy and has more recently been adding lots of large solar farms. But the Republicans who run the state have often voiced a preference for fossil fuels and falsely accused renewable energy for a dayslong blackout of much of the state during a winter storm in February.
Darren Woods, Exxon’s CEO, said in a statement that the effort demonstrates “our commitment and support of society’s ambitions for a lower emissions future.”