There is no path forward to a net-zero 2050 scenario without substantial carbon capture and sequestration being a part of the puzzle, according to Bobby Tudor, co-founder of Tudor, Pickering, Holt, and Co. who currently serves as chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership’s energy transition initiative.

In this interview with Hart Energy, Tudor said he applauds the recent proposal by Exxon Mobil Corp. for a $100 billion carbon capture megaproject that would capture CO₂ emissions from U.S. petrochemical plants and pipe them into natural geological formations below the Gulf of Mexico seafloor for storage.

“The announcement is very significant not just for Houston, but really for the world and for global efforts toward reducing CO₂ emissions,” Tudor told Hart Energy’s Faiza Rizvi. “We are pleased to see Exxon take on the leadership position and drive what is going to be an incredibly important project for our country’s energy transition plans.”

The city of Houston, known as the “Energy Capital of the World,” has tremendous potential to lead the low-carbon energy production and is well on the way, he said, to becoming the “Energy Transition Capital of the World.”

The largest components of energy transition—carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS), hydrogen and renewables—have huge potential of growth in Houston, according to Tudor. Further, he said the response from oil and gas business leaders in the Houston area to work toward clean energy has been “fantastic” so far.

“Our experience has been that leaders of these businesses have been highly focused on energy transition,” he said. “There are, of course, a wide range of companies involved in the industry and the approach is highly driven by your size, your core competencies, what your shareholders want and what your balance sheet is able to accommodate.”

Commenting on U.S. President Joe Biden’s pledge to decarbonize the U.S. economy entirely by 2050, Tudor said continued improvements in technology are vital to achieving these net-zero targets.

“We need continued R&D to happen in carbon capture, hydrogen, geothermal business, biofuels…really across the board,” he said.


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“We also need supportive policy like tax incentives,” he continued. “We’ve seen the role it has played in the wind and solar business, the costs have come down and increasingly in many parts of the country, and these technologies no longer need government subsidy to compete effectively on prices.”

“This is not true for CCUS at scale, for hydrogen or other parts of the value chain,” he noted. “So, we would need supportive policy in this regard.”

Jump to a topic:

  • Exxon Mobil’s carbon capture project (0:21)
  • Energy transition capital? (2:48)
  • Attracting young talent (5:25)
  • Response from oil and gas (6:49)
  • Road to net-zero by 2050 (8:32)