US energy giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron are looking for ways to produce renewable fuels at existing facilities to cut out the cost of costly upgrades, Reuters reported sources as saying on 12 August.

The companies are looking into how to process bio-based feedstocks like vegetable oils and partially processed biofuels with petroleum distillates to make renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable gasoline, without increasing capital spending, according to the report.

Exxon had requested a task force at international standards and testing organisation ASTM International on the capability of refiners to co-process up to 50% of certain types of bio-feedstocks to produce SAF, the sources said.

The company said it aimed to produce more than 40,000 barrels/day of low emission fuels by 2025 and this plan included the repurposing of its existing refinery units, according to the sources.

"We see the potential to leverage our existing facility footprint, proprietary catalyst technology … to develop attractive low-emission fuels projects with competitive returns," Exxon spokesperson Casey Norton was quoted in an e-mailed response.

Meanwhile, Chevron was looking into how to run bio-feedstocks through its fluid catalytic crackers (FCC), according to the report.

“Our goal is to co-process bio-feedstocks in the FCC by the end of 2021,” a Chevron spokesperson told Reuters, to supply renewable products to consumers in Southern California.

The company was partnering with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop a way to produce fuel that would qualify for emissions credits, the report said.