Oxy to use carbon capture to produce fossil fuels with goal of neutral CO2 emissions
Houston's Occidental Petroleum said Tuesday it is designing the first "direct air capture" plant in West Texas' booming Permian Basin to suck carbon dioxide out of the sky and inject it into the ground to aid in oil production.If they can make the economics work, it will produce carbon-neutral fuel that will provide significantly better energy resources than current alternative energy projects. The energy produced will also much more flexible for use in transportation.
Oxy and Chevron earlier this year became the first major oil companies to put their money into so-called negative emissions technologies with the goal of developing "direct air capture" factories. They both invested in Carbon Engineering, a Canadian company that has developed a direct air capture pilot plant outside of Vancouver.
Now Oxy is moving first with Carbon Engineering to begin the engineering and design work of what they're calling the world's largest direct air capture and sequestration facility to be located somewhere in West Texas.
"Using atmospheric CO2 for oil recovery greatly reduces the net addition of CO2 to the atmosphere from oil production and fuel use, and opens a pathway to producing fully carbon-neutral or even net-negative fuels," said Richard Jackson, who oversees the company's venture capital arm, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures.
A top producer in the Permian, Oxy also is the industry leader in vast quantities of carbon dioxide for a production process called enhanced oil recovery. As the industry leader in the process, Oxy injects carbon dioxide into aging reservoirs to force more oil from wells. The company uses 50 million tons of carbon dioxide annually for enhanced recovery. Its ultimate goal: put more carbon dioxide into the ground than it takes out in the form of fossil fuels.
This proposed plant would capture 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.