Carbon Capture and Storage Wins Support in Texas Energy Hub

Sept. 20, 2021
The 11-company partnership includes oil refiners, electric utilities, and petrochemical manufacturers.

Given its concentration of oil and gas and chemicals companies, Houston is nicknamed “Energy Capital of the World.” Eleven Houston-area major players in those industries have endorsed a large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) plan to help decarbonize industrial facilities, Exxon Mobil Corp. reported last week.

Companies joining ExxonMobil in discussing a broad CCS deployment in Houston include: Calpine, Chevron, Dow, INEOS, Linde, LyondellBasell, Marathon Petroleum, NRG Energy, Phillips 66, and Valero. The CCS initiative could lead to capturing and storing up to 50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year by 2030 and approximately 100 million metric tons by 2040, ExxonMobil stated.

Under the proposal, the partners – active in areas such as oil refining, power generation, and petrochemical manufacturing – would use CCS technology at the Houston-area industrial facilities they operate.

“Houston can achieve our net zero goals by working together, and it’s exciting to see so many companies have already come together to talk about making Houston the world leader in carbon capture and storage,” remarked Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We’re reimagining what it means to be the energy capital of the world and applying proven technology to reduce emissions is one of the best ways to get started.”

According to ExxonMobil, wide-scale CCS deployment in the Houston area will demand the collective support of industry, communities, and government. With the right policies and regulations, the company projects that CCS could create “tens of thousands of new jobs” while protecting existing jobs and reducing emissions at a lower cost to society than other widely available technologies.

ExxonMobil pointed out Houston-area industries could safely and permanently inject CO2 emissions into U.S. Gulf Coast geologic formations thousands of feet below the surface or seabed. Citing U.S. Department of Energy estimates, the company stated the Gulf Coast could offer capacity to store 500 billion metric tons of CO2 – or 130-plus years of the United States’ total industrial and power generation emissions, based on 2018 figures.

“ExxonMobil is pleased to work with these companies to draw upon our collective global expertise in CCS and explore and execute potential technology-driven solutions to reduce emissions in Houston,” commented Joe Blommaert, president of ExxonMobil’s Low Carbon Solutions unit. “We can meet our goals in reducing industrial emissions together.”

The 11 companies will continue to advocate for policies enabling the long-term commercial viability of new, expanded, and existing CCS investments in Texas, noted ExxonMobil, adding that discussions are ongoing with other firms.

“Calpine is working hard to advance carbon capture projects at its Houston-area cogeneration facilities and is proud to support this endeavor,” said Calpine Executive Vice President of Commercial Operations Caleb Stephenson. “But this is just the beginning of what we can accomplish with the right policies, including the enhanced 45Q credit that climate champions are now advancing in Congress. For economy-wide change, we must take advantages available right now to build on the expansion of clean energy with innovative solutions that can quickly and effectively address emissions that other technologies leave behind. For Calpine, this is a natural part of a comprehensive strategy that includes our own major investments in geothermal, grid-connected storage, and high-efficiency plants to power a cleaner future.”

About the Author

EnergyTech Staff

Rod Walton is senior editor for He has spent 14 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist.

Walton formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

He can be reached at [email protected]

EnergyTech is focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids.

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.