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ExxonMobil To Acquire Denbury In $4.9B Deal

Giant E&P company Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) has agreed to acquire the developer of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) solutions, Denbury Inc. (NYSE:DEN) in an all-stock transaction valued at $4.9B, or $89.45/share, good for a mere 1.9% premium to Wednesday's closing stock price. Denbury recycles CO2 through its Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) operations, and uses it to produce environmentally-friendly, carbon-negative Blue Oil. The company owns the largest CO2 pipeline network in the U.S. at 1,300 miles, including nearly 925 miles of CO2 pipelines in Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi, as well as 10 onshore sequestration sites.

The acquisition is part of ExxonMobil’s newly-launched CCUS projects. Exxon CEO Darren Woods says that the company’s Low Carbon business has the potential to outperform its legacy oil and gas business within a decade and generate hundreds of billions in revenues

In April, Exxon Mobil signed a long-term contract with industrial gas company Linde Plc. (NYSE:LIN) that involves offtake of carbon dioxide associated with Linde’s planned clean hydrogen project in Beaumont, Texas.  Exxon will transport and permanently store as much as 2.2M metric tons/year of carbon dioxide each year from Linde’s plant. Back in February, Linde unveiled plans to build a $1.8B complex which will include autothermal reforming with carbon capture and a large air separation plant to supply clean hydrogen and nitrogen. 

The CCUS sector recently received a big boost from the Inflation Reduction Act, which offers an increased tax credit for captured point source CO2 from $50 to $85 per ton. Many industrial use cases including ethanol plants, ammonia production, and natural gas processing facilities are now economically feasible with the increased 45Q tax credit. This subsidy provides $85 per ton for sequestered industrial or power emissions, and $180 per ton for emissions captured directly from the atmosphere and sequestered.

McKinsey estimates that annual global investment in CCUS technology of $120 billion to $150 billion by 2035 is required for the world to achieve net zero. To scale the technology effectively, the firm notes that greater coordination across the value chain is necessary.

By Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com

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