U.S. oil giant Chevron Corp. along with Exxon Mobil Corp. has reportedly planned to bulk up in the expanding renewable fuels sector, by searching for methods to create such products at current facilities.
The two biggest oil companies in the United States want to make sustainable fuels without shelling out the billions of dollars that are being spent by some refineries to reorganize operations for making such products. Renewable fuels hold around 5% of the fuel consumption of the United States. However, it is predicted to grow as different sectors transform to curb overall carbon emissions to tackle global climate change.
Both Exxon and Chevron have massive refining divisions that heavily contribute to their total carbon emissions. The companies have faced intense scrutiny for taking a casual approach towards renewable investments, unlike European rivals TotalEnergies and Royal Dutch Shell Plc and have spent an insignificant percentage of their capital, in comparison to those companies, on green technologies.
The companies are exploring the methods of processing bio-based feedstocks such as vegetable oils, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), renewable gasoline, and biofuels that are partially processed with petroleum distillates, without any substantial increase in capital spending.
Producing renewable fuels at a commercial scale is costlier than making traditional motor gasoline, unless provided with tax credits.
At Exxon’s request, a task force was created within ASTM International, a global standards and testing organization, to identify the capability of refiners in co-processing close to 50% of specific types of bio-feedstocks for producing SAF.
According to Exxon, it will remodel its current refinery units, among other plans, to make biofuels. It is focusing on achieving over 40,000 barrels per day of low-emission fuels at reasonable costs by 2025.
Spokesperson Casey Norton has supposedly stated that the company is aware of the potential of leveraging its current facility, proprietary catalyst tech, and over ten years of experience in processing complex feed streams to develop favorable low-emission fuel projects with reasonable returns.