July 20, 2023 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2023 • Episode: SIS14
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Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!
INTERVIEW THP14: Mark Klewpatinond / ExxonMobil - Fascinating Insights On How ExxonMobil Is Shaping The Global Future Of Hydrogen Special Interview Series - Mark Klewpatinond / ExxonMobil
I recently attended the Hydrogen Technology Conference & Expo in Houston Texas and had the opportunity (and pleasure) of meeting with Mark Klewpatinond from ExxonMobil’s Low Carbon Solution business organization. We spoke about the future of hydrogen and how ExxonMobil is Accelerating the world's path to net zero.
#ExxonMobil #LowCarbonSolutions #Hydrogen #TheHydrogenPodcast
This is an important topic, and one that I hope everyone in the hydrogen industry pays attention to. Thanks for listening and as always, if you have feedback on this interview, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great day,
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Paul Rodden 0:00
Hello, everyone, this is Paul Rodden. And I want to welcome you back to the hydrogen podcast.
Paul Rodden 0:05
So the big questions in the energy industry today are, how is hydrogen the primary driving force behind the evolution of energy? Where is capital being deployed for hydrogen projects globally? And where are the best investment opportunities for early adopters who recognize the importance of hydrogen? I will address the critical issues and give you the information you need to deploy capital. Those are the questions that will unlock the potential of hydrogen and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Paul Rodden, and welcome to hydrogen Podcast.
Paul Rodden 0:32
Hello everyone. This is Paul Rodden, and I want to welcome you back to The Hydrogen Podcast. Today we're here at the Hydrogen Technology Expo North America Conference in Houston, Texas. And I think the sun is actually coming down on us outside. It is so hot. I want to welcome our special guest, Mark Klewpatinond, the global business manager for hydrogen in ExxonMobil's Low Carbon Solutions organization. Mark has played a significant role in driving advancements in sustainable energy solutions. His leadership and dedication to low carbon practices have positioned him as a respected figure in the field. I'm thrilled to have Mark join us today on the podcast as we explore the exciting developments and the future prospects of ExxonMobil's contributions in the hydrogen industry. Mark, I really am so very glad that you're here.
Mark Klewpatinond 1:16
Thanks, Paul. I'm really happy to be here.
Paul Rodden 1:17
So with the formation of the Low Carbon solutions business, ExxonMobil has moved swiftly to position itself as leader of the energy transition. You have significantly grown the pipeline of emission reduction opportunities in carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, lower emission fuels. Can you give us an overview of ExxonMobil's Low Carbon Solutions business and what role it will play in ExxonMobil's global energy strategy?
Mark Klewpatinond 1:42
Sure. Well, we established our Low Carbon Solutions business just over two years ago now, and it was designed there to expand and commercialize the work we're doing in our low emissions fuels and carbon capture and storage ventures. And we're continuing to make good progress in growing this portfolio at a vantage, low-emission investment opportunities, but it's really predicated if you look at what we've publicly announced. We've said in this GHG emissions reduction space we're planning on spending kind of $17 billion – through 2027 in that space with about 40% of that, so about $7 billion dollars really looking at third-party offerings. So there's some spending that we want to do to decarbonize our own facilities and using that as a basis and to be able to offer decarbonization solutions or low carbon solutions to the third-party customers. We have a broad suite of solutions, and a broad suite will be needed to meet future energy needs. Society desires to transition to net-zero emissions, and when ExxonMobil – when we looked at assessing how we could make the greatest contribution to that energy transition, we started with the solutions that best fit with our core capabilities. And so kind of the focus areas and technologies that we have strong strategic fit for, like carbon capture and storage, like hydrogen, like biofuels or low-emission fuels. And that's really where our focus is. These technologies, they need to be developed at scale and a partnership with host governments and large industry partners. Today we already are a global leader in carbon capture and storage. And we have decades of experience working in partnership with countries all over the world as we look to build new businesses and new value chains. One of the things I was talking about in my presentation this morning at the hydrogen technology expo was if you look at energy-related CO2 emissions, 33 million tons a year, and 80% of that is around electricity production, the industrial emissions, and commercial transportation. And those emissions, that's eight times more than associated with gasoline-powered light vehicles. And that 80%, that's where we believe, with ExxonMobil, that we can contribute the most and the sectors we're most focused on.
Paul Rodden 3:49
Great. So ExxonMobil made a massive announcement recently. Everyone has been talking about it, the first world-scale plant for the production of low-carbon hydrogen at the refining and petchem facility in Baytown. Can you talk to us about the project and then give some specifics on what makes this facility unique? How does it work? How you produce the hydrogen. What are your target carbon intensity score metrics? Who do you sell the hydrogen to? And how are you going to transport the hydrogen? Are there any other production opportunities besides hydrogen? Are there any derivatives from that?
Mark Klewpatinond 4:26
Sure. So yeah. We made the announcement on the Baytown Blue Hydrogen Project earlier this year, and it is planned to be a billion standard cubic feet a day – right? – so about a million tons a year. It will be the largest low-carbon hydrogen plant in the world when we plan to start up in 2027, 2028. And you think about the scale of that. A typical steam methane reform, an SMR, today is around 150 million MCFs a day, right?
Paul Rodden 4:54
Mark Klewpatinond 4:54
It's a significant size increase. And this is – again, this is ExxonMobil bringing its capabilities to the fore and really testing the limits of scale here in order to be able to drive down the cost of this. And we look at the hydrogen solutions or the technologies available today. Blue hydrogen really is the solution that's available at scale and that can be deployed at scale. And that can be deployed at scale... And a million tons, so what do we do with that million tons? And as I mentioned earlier, we have plans to – we have our own plans and ambitions to decarbonize our own Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. And so this will help with decarbonizing our Baytown complex. So we expect to be able to reduce site CO2 emissions there by up to 30%, but that will only use a portion of that million tons a year of hydrogen. The remainder then we – and you would have seen some of the announcements we've already made. We're teaming with third parties to sell that volume either as hydrogen in its molecular or gaseous form or converting it into ammonia to be able to ship to other countries around the world.
Paul Rodden 5:53
It's hot topic right now.
Mark Klewpatinond 5:54
Mark Klewpatinond 5:57
Absolutely. And so we – this is the advantage of being with ExxonMobil, as well, is we have a broad range of solutions, a portfolio of solutions to be able to offer to customers depending on what kind of carbon intensity they're looking for, the rate and pace, and the willingness to pay. We can offer everything from natural gas, LNG to hydrogen to biofuels to carbon capture storage, depending on what the application is, what the natural resource kind of endowments are within the country, as well as where policy then is directing you. And so the way that we think about this blue hydrogen plant, as well, again, we're not just testing the limits of scale. We're testing the limits of the level of decarbonization. So we expect to be able to capture 98% of the Scope 1 emissions coming from this production plant.
Paul Rodden 6:41
And, I mean, 98%, that's a lot.
Mark Klewpatinond 6:44
It's huge. Right. It's huge. And so you think about the amount of CO2. So we're making a million tons a year of hydrogen. We expect then to need 7 million tons a year of storage just for this plant.
Paul Rodden 6:56
Mark Klewpatinond 6:56
And so we do have an associated project that's underpinning this that should be able to store 10 million tons a year. So that's 7 million tons specifically to this project that leaves another then 3 million tons that we can leverage to go and sell to others who might want it.
Paul Rodden 7:08
And I think we might actually touch that a little bit later in this conversation too. That's what I'm looking forward to getting into. The industry is experiencing a shift in how to classify hydrogen. To make it easy, we started out with a color-based theme in order to explain the differences in technologies and processes that are involved in making hydrogen, but as we've all discovered, the color labels aren't the best. We all know my thoughts on the colors. In my opinion, the main metric to determine how effective hydrogen production will be is to determine the – and its viabilities – to look at its carbon intensity score. And I know you and I have talked about this several times over. Can you give us your thoughts on how ExxonMobil is approaching this issue and what is important for its customers to understanding – or to understand moving forward to make informed decisions?
Mark Klewpatinond 7:54
Yeah. And so, Paul, you're absolutely right. There's a whole rainbow of hydrogen colors, right? And it can be quite confusing –
Paul Rodden 8:02
Mark Klewpatinond 8:02
because even if you take the same color, yellow hydrogen, for example...
Paul Rodden 8:05
Mark Klewpatinond 8:06
there's at least three definitions of yellow hydrogen that I've found. And then you have traditional blue and green and then turquoise, pink and orange and purple and white and gold.
Paul Rodden 8:15
Mark Klewpatinond 8:16
So what does all that mean, right? And at the end of the day, our approach is it really comes down to carbon intensity.
Paul Rodden 8:21
Mark Klewpatinond 8:22
What is the carbon intensity that you're looking for. And, again, it's specific to the application, the scale of the application demand, the willingness to pay, the policy specification or direction as well as, like I was saying earlier, what natural resources are available to kind of tie up that supply and demand. So within ExxonMobil, we are color agnostic, right? Or, perhaps, better said, we're technology agnostic.
Paul Rodden 8:47
This is why we get along so well.
Mark Klewpatinond 8:48
We want to be able to provide the best solution for the specific supply chain that we're looking to build out. And we start with the customer.
Paul Rodden 8:58
Mark Klewpatinond 8:58
...We start with the customer. What does the customer want? So taking that market-back approach, understanding their willingness to pay, the specific needs of their application, whether that is in an industrial heat application, whether that is for steel manufacturing or power generation or something like heavy-duty transportation.
Paul Rodden 9:15
Mark Klewpatinond 9:16
What are their needs? What is the uptime that they require? What is the kind of timeline they're looking at? Ultimately, what is the level of decarbonization that they want and that they're willing to pay for?
Paul Rodden 9:26
Right. Because that's the big part in the whole economics plan of this is just how much they're willing to pay for.
Mark Klewpatinond 9:31
Paul Rodden 9:32
Before you answer my next question, carbon capture and storage, CCS, it's a cornerstone of your strategy. Would you take a moment to explain what carbon capture is and why it's considered a crucial technology essential for achieving a future with lower emissions?
Mark Klewpatinond 9:47
So carbon capture and storage is the process of capturing CO2 from industrial activity or power plants, capturing the emissions wherever they're coming from that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. And then taking that CO2 and then injecting it deep underground or under the sea floor for safe, secure, and permanent storage. CCS is an essential technology to help reduce global CO2 emissions, and what – so when you think about what's required in this space, CO2 storage really underpins everything in this space, right? And you cannot have, obviously, blue hydrogen without some CO2 storage – capture and storage solution, but as you look to for us to build out this value chain, CCS is fundamental, and we will help customers with – starting with, I guess, the highest concentration CO2 strings, the easiest ones to capture and then store, which is then the lowest cost of carbon abatement. We build out that CO2 capture and storage infrastructure. That then enables hydrogen production to come into play and being able to sequester that CO2. Once we build out that hydrogen, then we can do things like biofuels, renewable diesel. And then the bigger then the hydrogen market becomes, then it enables us to get hydrogen to, potentially, other applications beyond just those highest emitting industrial sectors that we're focused on.
Paul Rodden 11:05
One of those important aspects of this blue hydrogen facility is the ability to capture the carbon safely, store it underground. Can you talk to us in detail about how it will work and what your plans are for accelerating the world's path to net zero?
Mark Klewpatinond 11:16
Sure. So when you capture the CO2 and you put it through the pipeline and then you go and sequester it under the ground, that CO2 is safely stored – right? – within the geology, and this is where ExxonMobil expertise comes into play, obviously, very good at finding oil and gas. And so we do the reverse and say, "Okay. Where can we entrap that gas?"
Paul Rodden 11:36
Mark Klewpatinond 11:36
And over hundreds of years, that stored CO2 would typically start to mineralize. And then over tens of thousands of years, it can begin to combine with other minerals then to become a solid. So it is a safe and really proven solution.
Paul Rodden 11:48
Calcium carbonate in it?
Mark Klewpatinond 11:49
Right. That's correct
Mark Klewpatinond 11:51
And so what are we doing in this space? We announced earlier the agreement with Linde, a leading maker of industrial gases that will be a foundational customer for our CCS network in the Port Author/Beaumont area.
Paul Rodden 12:02
Mark Klewpatinond 12:02
Yeah, just here in Texas. And we're excited to have them come onboard as a foundational customer for this network. And under the terms of that agreement, we will transport and permanently store up to 2.2 million tons of CO2 a year from their new hydrogen plant in Beaumont, which they schedule to start in 2025. That plant then will supply clean hydrogen and nitrogen to a world-scale blue ammonia plant that then is being built by OCI Global. So, again, we're helping to enable the build out of a broader industry or decarbonization industry. And other CCS projects, as well, that we've announced, so CF Industries, obviously, in the ammonia and fertilizer business. It could be up to 2 million tons a year of CO2 that we will permanently store for them. And then most recently is the Nucor steel deal, again, in Louisiana, where we can store up to 800,000 tons a year of CO2.
Paul Rodden 12:51
Right. Just massive amounts of CO2, but it really takes an ExxonMobil to make moves like this. And we're talking about a massive industry shift. It's gotta have someone with a stick as big as ExxonMobil's to make that pot stir the way it is.
Mark Klewpatinond 13:04
Yeah. I mean, I'm not sure it – would say it's a stick, but. But if you look at the capabilities that we bring and the competencies that we bring, we have the scale, and as you're mentioning, we have the integration. We have all the functional expertise, and all of that is underpinned and the technology obviously. And all of that underpinned by our people – right? – the knowledge that we have in – all across that value chain, up and down the value chain. So we start we start with the oil and gas extraction, the geology, as I was mentioning earlier. And then we get into what do you then do with those molecules?
Paul Rodden 13:38
Mark Klewpatinond 13:39
You go and then produce hydrogen as an example, and we have obviously a lot of expertise in refining and chemicals. And we've been producing and consuming hydrogen for more than a hundred years already.
Paul Rodden 13:49
Mark Klewpatinond 13:49
One of the largest – people don't know this, but one of the largest hydrogen producers today, more than a million tons a year, is what we're producing and consuming. And then once you have that then what do you do with those molecules? And have to be able to either distribute them, so that's what we do in our kind of traditional fuels business and chemicals business and also be able to market them, right?
Paul Rodden 14:07
Mark Klewpatinond 14:07
Again, so we're leveraging all of the capabilities that we have across the integrated ExxonMobil corporation.
Paul Rodden 14:14
Talking to so many people here at the conference, the biggest – one of the biggest things that everyone is talking about for what's handicapping the hydrogen industry right now is offtake agreements. And you don't have to dive into any of them, but it just seems like once that gets unlocked, it's going to really start flowing fast. And it seems like ExxonMobil is one of the companies to really make that happen.
Mark Klewpatinond 14:37
Yeah, I believe so, and we're doing that today. With Baytown, the reason why – that's the foundational hydrogen project that we're doing, and we're demonstrating that if we can do it with our own facilities, that should give confidence, as well, to the rest of the industry that this is possible. And we have the technology to be able to burn that 100% hydrogen in our facilities, and that is something then that we can offer to customers and almost hold their hand through that transition to make the – to lower the barrier to adoption of hydrogen and other low carbon solutions. And you kind of think about the policies that exist around the world, and we think about here in the U.S., there's the Inflation and Reduction Act, which a lot of people – a lot of excitement around, and there is a lot of incentive there for producers. If you look at today in the U.S., there really is no penalty for continuing to do what you do today. And so if you are burning natural gas, you can continue to burn natural gas without penalty. So how do you incentivize those users, those companies then to move over? And that's where, yes, you need some kind of demand-side policy to get people broadly over, but there will be some people who will be willing to move quicker than that.
Paul Rodden 15:44
Mark Klewpatinond 15:44
And so that's where we want to help, right? We want to help them to do that, to give them the confidence that we can supply it reliably. We can supply it at the carbon intensity that they're looking for, that it will be within the affordability that they're demanding, and that the technology is there so that when they go and invest that capital to retrofit their burners or whatever it may be, that it will work, right? Having run a manufacturing plant previously within ExxonMobil, I absolutely understand the necessity to have reliability and to ensure that you're coming in on your costs, expectations, everything else because if you think about the 80% of energy-related emissions that I mentioned right at the beginning, a lot of those businesses, also, kind of low-margin businesses, right? It isn't a question of blue hydrogen versus green hydrogen and what – how does that cost compare to grey? It's really how does blue hydrogen or green hydrogen or choose your color hydrogen, right? How does that compare to the natural gas that I'm using today, or how does that compare to the diesel fuel I'm using today?
Paul Rodden 15:44
Yeah. Your original feedstock, if you're talking about blue or turquoise or any of those other colors and you have to bring that feedstock back into the equation, which I don't think a lot of people are when they're talking about their costs.
Mark Klewpatinond 17:02
Right. And that's why we are here to advise on that.
Paul Rodden 17:05
And one other thing before I move on, kind of touched on it a little bit. We don't have to go into it too far, but that derivatives market, there was a presentation earlier today where some people in finance were talking about "Where are we saying the money – why aren't we saying more money, move into it" or "If we are saying it, where is it going?" No one actually talked about the derivatives. So ammonia, synthetic fuels, where do you think any of that – is that worth venturing into, or is it more important to get that baseline across, get that infrastructure, the carbon capture handled?
Mark Klewpatinond 17:37
So it's all important. There's no point in getting the infrastructure and the carbon capture and all that handled if you then can't move that energy or provide that solution to those who are willing to pay for it. So you do need a mechanism to be able to transfer that energy from wherever you're producing it to wherever you're wanting to use it. So the reality is, I think, all of this is happening in tandem, and that's what we're seeing, right? That's what's very exciting about this space. And I know you see it, Paul, and just how quickly it's moving, how quickly people are learning.
Paul Rodden 18:07
Mark Klewpatinond 18:08
But you think about how we see this space. We talk about this is that time before the exponential demand will come. This is that time to learn and go through those learning cycles and do the foundational projects, figure out what is required and then drive cost down, develop technologies, as well as advocating for the constructive policies to then increase the total addressable market that we can go and deploy these low carbon solutions into.
Paul Rodden 18:34
From what I've heard throughout the industry, your Baytown hydrogen facility is well received and will potentially be a game-changer for the hydrogen industry – I say, will be a game-changer for the hydrogen industry. Can you talk about what is needed on the policy side, both in the U.S. and abroad in order to scale these industrial solutions for hard to decarbonize sectors? Also, I'm curious how the Low Carbon Solutions team is advocating for those changes.
Mark Klewpatinond 18:57
Sure. I think we all know that the energy transition will be expensive. There's a reason why we don't use these solutions today. And that really comes back to the value that society places on CO2. And that can manifest itself in many different forms. It can be in the form of a tax. It can be in the form of a trading scheme or a mandate or an incentive, lots of different ways that that can happen, but coherent government policy is what's really needed to help mitigate the risks, encourage growth in this industry, and reduce costs across the board while speeding operations on the local national continental levels. If you look in the European Union, United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, there's several positive developments which we which can point the way forward, maybe start with the European Union, they're using much more of probably the stick approach right with mandates, With mandates, you see the Renewable Energy Directive 3 or RED 3. They're mandating a minimum 1% of all energy produced for transportation must be renewable fuels of nonbiological origin or RFNBOs. It just rolls of the tongue. And that's for transportation fuels, and they're also mandating, as well, by 2030, for 42% of hydrogen to industry to be green hydrogen or an e-fuel. So the other aspect of that is – and why it can be difficult in Europe is they're specifying how to do the transition, right? And rather than setting the goal and letting the markets work and letting the markets and technology develop to find the right solution, the most cost-effective solution that's aligned with what industry and customers and, ultimately, what the end consumer is willing to pay. And that's why then you look at other ways that this can be done. You look at the U.K. as an example, where they are deploying more of a carrot approach, and they have a national hydrogen strategy calling for 5 gigawatts of low-carbon hydrogen by 2030. Much more techology-agnostic approach. Blue can come in as well as green hydrogen.
Paul Rodden 20:42
Mark Klewpatinond 20:43
And, they're using more that kind of contracts for differences, how they're doing it with strike prices, as well to keep you whole, with while making it affordable for the end users to be able to have hydrogen versus something like natural gas, which is what I'm currently using. And so that then enables projects like – like, what we're trying to do on the southern coast of England with the Solent Cluster, where we have CCS and potentially hydrogen that we're looking to deploy there right now. Obviously, in the U.S., there's the Inflation and Reduction Act, right?
Paul Rodden 21:09
Mark Klewpatinond 21:09
So there was – obviously, before that came along, as well, there was the hydrogen hub funding, right?
Paul Rodden 21:13
Mark Klewpatinond 21:13
So billions of dollars available or hydrogen hubs. That's almost now a kind of – it's almost a footnote – right? – when you compare it to what's available in the Inflation and Reduction Act. And you have production tax credits via 45Q, which is the CO2 recapture and storage, $85 a ton, or 45V, which is a production tax credit specifically for hydrogen based on its carbon intensity, that you could get up to $3 a kilo. And that then is a significant carrot then that you can – that can help incentivize this. But, again, all on the supply, production aside. And then there's other policies at the state level, regional level. For example, California, Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which could then enable some of these projects going further.
Paul Rodden 21:52
Mark Klewpatinond 21:52
Canada, another place – right? – has, in their 2023 national budget, included a robust low-carbon hydrogen investment tax credit. And then there's a whole suite of other incentives available at – well, carrots and sticks available in Canada and, again, depending on which province you go to. That can make this, actually, very attractive business opportunity.
Paul Rodden 22:10
Mark Klewpatinond 22:11
So suffice it to say, I mean, these are all kind of important tools for implementing, but given hydrogen projects exist on a really grand scale, and when we look at investments, we're measuring investments on a 20- 25-, even 30-year kind of timescale. We need durable policy that provides that – all the – is that flexibility around the timelines with those strong incentives so that we can de-risk these investments, and we can encourage that amazing growth. We can, not just on a supplier side, but give the confidence to the offtaker, to the eventual users that the capital that they go and invest will still be amenable, will still be – they'll still be able to utilize that after the production tax credit, for example, in the U.S., after the production tax credit ends in 10 years. What happens after that?
Paul Rodden 22:56
Mark Klewpatinond 22:56
That's the big question.
Paul Rodden 22:57
Yeah. Are they hoping that technology will get to the point where it drives down the cost? We just don't know.
Mark Klewpatinond 23:04
We don't know, right? I mean, we are – in ExxonMobil, we're absolutely focused on driving down the cost and developing the technologies required throughout the value chain required to help with this, but as – I think I mentioned earlier, you can drive the costs down, and that will help to activate more of these projects.
Paul Rodden 23:19
Mark Klewpatinond 23:20
But at the same time, society needs to value CO2 and continue to increase the value of that CO2.
Paul Rodden 23:26
Mark Klewpatinond 23:26
So policy needs to increase at the same time so that you can open that aperture, open that total addressable market and be able to activate more of these projects.
Paul Rodden 23:33
Yeah. And like you were saying, there are still some policies and politics that are involved. Are we going to have additionality clauses here in the U.S.? Is it going to be state-driven? So many questions still left unanswered that hopefully we'll get answered soon enough and we can actually see more solid future investments being made.
Mark Klewpatinond 23:48
Paul Rodden 23:49
Yeah. So two final questions. In your opinion, if you were to write the blueprint for the future of the hydrogen industry, what would need to happen in the next ten years in order to execute your grand vision?
Mark Klewpatinond 24:03
Ten years. Oh, yeah.
Paul Rodden 24:05
Mark Klewpatinond 24:05
Yeah. Well, we talked about technology, right? We talked about the need to develop technology, drive down cost there. So we can help on that part, but also you think the grand vision. We need a unified global approach in order for society to make its push for net-zero emissions effectively. To this end, we can't underestimate the importance of business alliances and partnerships to coordinate technological standardization, guide global policy. And as part of that, ExxonMobil are involved in associations like the Hydrogen Council.
Paul Rodden 24:36
Mark Klewpatinond 24:36
We announced that we joined that last month, and that is an inside alliance of businesses and organizations of, now, I think, 150 members that are focused on that. There are things like the Open Hydrogen Initiative that we are a foundation sponsor of, and that, again, it's around how do you get a standardized approach to hydrogen energy measurements and the carbon intensity? Again, getting away from hydrogen colors to something that's more useful for industry and industry and customers to drive what we really want.
Paul Rodden 25:02
Right. Because I'm still asked, "Well, what is that in MCF?" "I don't know."
Paul Rodden 25:06
Last question, what do you consider to be the most important aspects of the hydrogen economy that we need to focus on as an industry?
Mark Klewpatinond 25:14
So as my team are very well aware, there are three things that I like to keep reminding them of that we need to be super-focused on, advocacy, technology development, and application development. Policy, as we've been talking a lot about, we need the policy to involve across countries and governments. We need the constructive, durable policy to activate more of these projects –
Paul Rodden 25:34
Mark Klewpatinond 25:34
– and give us that confidence that the policy will be there and help de-risk some of these projects, especially in these early stages before a broad market is developed. Really, technology advancements in the variety of production method is not a one-size fits all solution. There's lots of complexities that ExxonMobil was positioned to manage. We talk about, through the value chain, there's hydrogen production. Let's lower the cost to that. There is mitigating emissions along the supply chain, as well, right?
Paul Rodden 25:59
Mark Klewpatinond 26:00
So you look at what we're doing in the Permian Basin with our stated goal of getting to net-zero emissions there by 2030. All of that helps as well.
Paul Rodden 26:08
Mark Klewpatinond 26:09
And then we talk about how do you then transport that hydrogen energy around the world or even in the United States? How do you repurpose existing infrastructure?
Paul Rodden 26:18
Mark Klewpatinond 26:18
That's really important. If you want to lower the cost of this, how can we get a solution out to the market that is leveraging as much infrastructure that already exists in the world today?
Paul Rodden 26:29
That's a great point, but. Yeah. There are so many legacy power plants, coal, natural gas, whatever it is that – I mean, they're there. They can be retrofit to how they can be retrofit to help out on this.
Mark Klewpatinond 26:29
And then when I think about the energy system that exists today, we have an electrical grid. We have a liquid system – right? – with crude oil and all the other fuels that derive from that. We have a gas system. They are – that is infrastructure that has been built out over decades, right?
Paul Rodden 26:56
Mark Klewpatinond 26:57
And this is – the scale is we know what we're trying to do in this low-carbon space is in very short years. It's taking other energy solutions and – decades and even centuries to build out. We talked – I was talking earlier today around kind of coal mines and the like, they – the modern kind of coal industry kind of built out in the 18th century. It's fueling the industrial revolution. The kind of oil refinery, kind of mid-19th century is when we first won – of those came along nuclear power plant. The first nuclear power plant came along in 1951.
Paul Rodden 27:23
Mark Klewpatinond 27:24
First solar plant was only 40 years – only 40 years ago.
Paul Rodden 27:27
Mark Klewpatinond 27:27
But 40 years ago. And then you look at where we are today with solar.
Paul Rodden 27:29
Mark Klewpatinond 27:29
So you think about the pace of this transition and what's being called on. It's a significant challenge, but it's a challenge that we think is worth undertaking. And then maybe just to pull around out where you – what you were asking here, applications. So this is the – again, another advantage with ExxonMobil. We are decarbonizing our own facilities as well. We understand that there's challenges in moving from natural gas to burning hydrogen, but we're developing the technologies. We have the burner technology. We're confident that we can burn 100% hydrogen and have no issues with NOx emissions, right? You hear a lot about NOx because of the higher flame temperature... And you're drawing in more nitrogen from the air, but we have the solution for that. And so as we show the world that this can be done, that will give more confidence to others, as well, that this is a viable solution, and there is pathway there.
Paul Rodden 28:17
It's been an absolute pleasure having you here. Thank you so much.
Mark Klewpatinond 28:20
Oh, thanks a lot, Paul. I mean, I'm glad to have been able to share all the exciting things that we're doing here in ExxonMobil.
Paul Rodden 28:26
If you have any questions you can go to Exxon Mobil's low carbon solutions business, they can go to lowcarbon.exxonmobil.com. And you'll get some details there. I recommend following the Low Carbon solutions LinkedIn page. There's a treasure trove of information there with more coming soon. Thanks, everyone. Take care. Stay safe. I'll talk to you later. Hey, this is Paul. I hope you liked this podcast. If you did and want to hear more. I'd appreciate it if you would either subscribe to this channel on YouTube, or connect with your favorite platform through my website at www.thehydrogenpodcast.com. Thanks for listening. I very much appreciate it. Have a great day.