Exxon Mobil Corp is expected to announce on Tuesday a $600 million investment to produce liquid transportation fuels from algae, the New York Times said.

The oil major's biofuel effort involves a partnership with Synthetic Genomics, a biotechnology company founded by the genomics pioneer Craig Venter, according to the paper.

Exxon spent several years exploring various fuel alternatives, the paper said, citing Emil Jacobs, vice president for research and development at Exxon's research and engineering unit.

We literally looked at every option we could think of, with several key parameters in mind, Jacobs told the paper, adding that scale was the first.

For transportation fuels, if you can't see whether you can scale a technology up, then you have to question whether you need to be involved at all, Jacobs told the paper.

Exxon fended off proposals related to renewable fuels at an investors meeting in May.

Certainly for the foreseeable future, the world is going to continue to rely on fossil fuels, CEO Rex Tillerson told the meeting.

(Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Ben Tan)