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Exxon Restarts Wyoming Carbon Capture Project After 2-Year Delay

Expansion would cost $400 million and capture 1 million tons a year of carbon dioxide. The project had been on hold due following the pandemic.

Exxon Mobil Corp. restarted work on a planned 1 million-ton-a-year carbon capture project in Wyoming and said operations could begin as soon as 2025, two years later than the previously proposed timeline. 

The LaBarge expansion will cost about $400 million, the company said Thursday in a statement. Irving, Texas-based Exxon will begin requesting bids for engineering, procurement and construction, with a view to taking a final investment decision in 2022.

The announcement from Exxon comes as the company feels pressure from investors to overhaul its climate strategy. While competitors BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc have set long-term goals to achieve net zero carbon emissions and invested in renewable energy, Exxon has focused on shorter term goals to reduce methane and invest in low-carbon technologies.

The LaBarge project would be the latest in a series of expansions at the site. It has long produced natural gas and helium, but large quantities of carbon dioxide are also extracted as a byproduct. Exxon currently captures as much as 7 million tons a year of CO2 at the location, making it one of the biggest carbon capture facilities in the world. Much of that is sold to energy companies operating nearby for enhanced oil recovery, a technique where the CO2 is injected into oil and gas wells to improve production.