Exxon Mobil [XOM:US] plans to commence lithium production from subsurface wells in Arkansas by 2027, aiming to meet the growing demand for the metal in electric car batteries and advanced electronics, as reported by Reuters on November 13. The move is part of Exxon’s strategy to invest in the electrification sector amid increasing government initiatives promoting electric vehicles and reduced fossil fuel consumption. The company will utilize conventional drilling methods to extract lithium-rich saltwater from underground reservoirs and employ direct lithium extraction technology.
Exxon aims to supply lithium for over 1 million electric vehicles annually, becoming a leading supplier by 2030. The venture is expected to require significant capital expenditures, potentially around USD2bn. Exxon’s focus is on providing lithium for EV batteries, consumer electronics, and energy storage systems, rather than investing in EV charging stations. The company emphasizes the urgent need for domestic production of critical materials and sees lithium as a global opportunity.