Exxon Mobil ready to spend over $600m on algae biofuels

Exxon Mobil is poised to spend more than $600m (£375m) on an alogae biofuls programme. The company’s senior vice president Andy Swiger said today that ExxonMobil believes threre are three […]

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By Kelvin Ross

Exxon Mobil is poised to spend more than $600m (£375m) on an alogae biofuls programme.

The company’s senior vice president Andy Swiger said today that ExxonMobil believes threre are three areas in which innovation has the potential to turn energy challenges into energy solutions: the development of algae biofuels, carbon capture and storage, and energy efficiency.

Delivering a keynote speech at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, Mr Swiger said algae could one day supplement conventional oil to help meet energy demands.

“In July we opened a new greenhouse facility in California to enable the next level of research and testing [of algae]. If milestones are successfully met, ExxonMobil expects to spend more than $600m on this biofuels programme. We are in the early days in this area of research, and the obstacles we face are formidable, but the potential is great,” he said.

And he said energy efficiency was “perhaps the most underestimated avenue for achieving a high-energy, low-carbon future”.

“By producing, delivering and consuming oil and natural gas more efficiently, we not only displace demand and extend the life of the world’s hydrocarbon endowment, but we also reduce carbon emissions,” he added.

Mr Swiger also stressed that innovation and industry/government partnerships are crucial to meet the challenges of global energy demand. “In this way, we can work most effectively to achieve a high-energy, low-carbon future, ensuring that the evolution of energy continues to demonstrate the best of human ingenuity and achievement,” he said.

“Meeting the challenge of ushering in a high-energy, low-carbon era requires innovation,” he added.