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Tags: exxon | lithium | ev | us

Exxon to Start Producing Lithium for EVs in the US

Exxon to Start Producing Lithium for EVs in the US
(AP)

Monday, 13 November 2023 11:08 AM EST

Exxon Mobil Monday said it plans to start producing lithium from subsurface wells by 2027 to provide supplies of the key metal used in electric-car batteries and advanced electronics.

Oil majors are investing in the electrification sector as governments in the United States and Europe set programs to promote wider use of electric vehicles and reduce fossil-fuel consumption.

Exxon said it will start production from briny waters pumped out of the ground in an area in the state of Arkansas known to hold significant lithium deposits to help develop a domestic source of the metal.

"In the long term, lithium really is a global opportunity," said Dan Ammann, president of Exxon's Low Carbon business unit. "We are starting here because there is an urgent need to ramp up domestic production of these critical materials."

The largest U.S. oil company said it would use conventional oil and gas drilling methods to access lithium-rich saltwater from reservoirs about 10,000 feet underground and then use direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology to separate lithium from the saltwater.

Ammann did not disclose how much Exxon intends to invest in the lithium business, or when it might become profitable.

The company's majority-owned Canadian affiliate, Imperial Oil, also has invested in a lithium-extraction pilot project in Alberta, Canada.

Exxon plans to begin production with partner Tetra Technologies, Reuters exclusively reported on Saturday. It will produce the metal onsite and sell it under the brand name Mobil Lithium, the company said on Monday.

Exxon had acquired the rights to 120,000 gross acres of the Smackover formation in Arkansas earlier this year.

European oil rivals BP and Shell have invested in electric vehicle charging stations as part of their energy transition strategy. A Deloitte study released earlier this year showed investors would like to see more spending on such technologies.

Exxon, which invented the rechargeable lithium-ion battery in the 1970s, but stepped away from the technology, has no plans to invest in charging stations, the executive said.

Exxon is focusing on lithium production to be used not only in EVs but also consumer electronics and energy storage systems that can hold electricity generated from intermittent solar and wind power.

There are about 280 million vehicles in the United States today, and less than 3 million are EVs, or about 1% of the total, Ammann said.

"There is still 99% to go, which suggests it is a very, very big opportunity," he said.

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


StreetTalk
Exxon Mobil Monday said it plans to start producing lithium from subsurface wells by 2027 to provide supplies of the key metal used in electric-car batteries and advanced electronics.
exxon, lithium, ev, us
403
2023-08-13
Monday, 13 November 2023 11:08 AM
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