Exxon Mobil Corporation provides details on its environmental, economic and social performance improvements in its newly released 2008 Corporate Citizenship Report.
Here are a few highlights from the company’s environmental performance report.
The Irving, Texas-based petroleum and natural gas company has invested more than $1.5 billion in the past five years to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It’s on track to meet its target of improving energy efficiency across its worldwide refining and chemical operations by 10 percent between 2002 and 2012.
In 2008, Exxon Mobil’s equity operations reduced their GHG emissions by about 10 million metric tons to 131 million metric tons from 2007. Over 2 million metric tons were due to reduction actions taken in 2008, including reduced hydrocarbon flaring in Nigeria. Other reductions were due to normal variations in its operations and improved GHG emissions measurement at some of its facilities, according to the report.
The energy company is also reducing the emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from its operations. The company has implemented new technologies and adopted new operating practices to reduce air emissions.
As a result of these efforts, the company’s combined emissions of VOCs, SO2, and NOx decreased by 25 percent from 2005 levels. By year end 2008, the company achieved more than a 50-percent reduction of its combined NOx and SO2 emissions from 2000 baseline levels at its U.S. refining facilities. The company is on track to meet its commitment to achieve a 70-percent reduction compared to 2000 baseline levels by 2012, according to the report.
It also achieved zero spills from ExxonMobil-operated and long-term chartered marine vessels in 2008 and reduced the number of spills greater than one barrel by 60 percent since 2001.
Exxon Mobil also employs carbon capture and storage to help reduce GHG emissions. As an example, at the company’s LaBarge Shute Creek facility in Wyoming, it has been capturing, transporting, and selling CO2 since 1987, at rates up to 4 million metric tons of CO2 per year. The company said it is currently expanding this capability by nearly 50 percent and significantly reducing overall emissions. Most of the CO2 marketed at Shute Creek is used for enhanced oil recovery.
ExxonMobil is also a partner in the Sleipner Field in the North Sea, which has injected over 10 million tons of CO2 (for storage) over the past decade. The company is also investing more than $100 million in a test facility to develop advanced carbon capture and storage technologies.
However, Exxon Mobil is now facing shareholders who are unhappy with the company’s plan not to invest in renewables beyond research until they’re profitable without subsidies, reports Energy Current. This year the company faces 11 shareholder proposals that push for environmental measures, according to the article.