Exxon’s new Gulf of Mexico leases aren’t what they seem

Exxon’s new Gulf of Mexico leases aren’t what they seem


An offshore oil well platform in the Gulf of Mexico off Grand Isle, Louisiana, U.S., on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.  | Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

ExxonMobil’s spending spree during yesterday’s lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico was significant, experts say, because the company might use the area for something other than oil and gas extraction. Experts outside the company speculate that ExxonMobil wants to use Gulf waters for a novel purpose: sequestering captured carbon dioxide.

The Biden administration auctioned off vast tracts of the Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas companies yesterday in one of the largest federal lease sales in recent years. The sale drew sharp criticism from environmental groups, which say that allowing new oil and gas development is incompatible with America meeting its climate goals. But it’s possible that Exxon — the biggest bidder in yesterday’s sale — isn’t…

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