Carbon Capture

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Companies considering carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects need per-ton government fiscal incentives to roughly double in the US if the technology is to make a significant dent on the country’s carbon emissions, an Exxon Mobil official argued Monday. “In that $100/ton range, you would make a very, very significant impact, particularly where the heavy industry is in places like the Gulf Coast,” Neil Chapman, senior vice president for Exxon Mobil who oversees the company’s upstream operations, said at the Energy Intelligence Forum 2021. The remarks come as lawmakers in Washington debate different measures aimed at expanding the existing tax incentive program for carbon capture known as 45Q. Exxon’s massive Houston Hub CCS concept to join facilities around the Houston ship channel could get a boost from some policy changes now under consideration in Washington, but Chapman’s remarks underscore that the company and others are looking for additional government tax breaks to move carbon capture projects forward. “You’ve got to do something to concentrate the CO2, and that can be an expensive step … $50 [per ton] 45Q won’t get you there,” Chapman said, referring to the existing credit payment program. “So there has to be policy support at some stage to be able to get after the bulk of the CO2 emissions.” Chapman’s $100/ton point is roughly in line with other estimates for more complicated industrial carbon capture projects.

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