Should Big Oil Get Into The Lithium Business? – by Irina Slav (Oil Price – June 26, 2023)

In March 2021, Schlumberger announced a pilot project led by its subsidiary Schlumberger New Energy. The project was supposed to test a new method of extracting lithium much more quickly and efficiently.

Also in 2021, a joint venture between All-American Lithium and an Occidental Petroleum subsidiary received a package of patents for new lithium extraction technologies and processes.

Fast-forward three years and Exxon has also joined the lithium show. The supermajor last month said it had acquired drilling rights for an area in Arkansas with the potential for substantial lithium reserves. Big Oil is quietly going into lithium.

“It’s a natural evolution for oil companies. Lithium brines are an obvious one as unlike charging networks and wind farms, where they have no skills besides project management, they are skilled at subsurface pumping and fluids.”

That’s according to the chief executive of a mining investment fund dubbed TechMet, which has invested in a lithium venture owned by Schlumberger. Speaking to the Financial Times this month, Brian Menell also said that several oil industry majors were “putting a lot of time and attention into how they can become big in lithium.”

For the rest of this article: