Climate Change

Fossil fuel giant Occidental to capture carbon on behalf of Airbus

Fossil fuel giant Occidental capture carbon behalf Airbus

Photo: 1PointFive

Published

March 23, 2022

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Published:

March 23, 2022

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Occidental Petroleum is making the world’s biggest CO2 direct air capture and storage system that will lower Airbus’s carbon footprint for a fee. It will also sequester the greenhouse gas to declare South Korean SK Trading’s oil to be net zero fuel.

One of the biggest oil and gas companies in the United States is investing heavily in environmental services. Occidental Petroleum decided to build the biggest carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility on the planet. The system’s capacity is envisaged to be 100 times stronger than all 19 existing direct air capture or DAC plants put together, according to calculations of the International Energy Agency, Reuters reported.

The fossil fuel giant based in Houston, Texas, said its CCS facility would be sucking in and locking away one million tons of carbon dioxide per year below ground. The construction is scheduled to start by the end of the year in the Permian basin, the major oil extraction hub shared by Texas and New Mexico.

Depleted oil and gas wells can be suitable for storing carbon. The technology was provided by Carbon Engineering. Occidental, also known as Oxy, said it plans to finish the system within two years.

Carbon can also be removed in plants or even boats as they burn fossil fuels. A switch to renewables is already cheaper than paying for CCS in some sectors. Critics say carbon capture is unreliable and energy-intensive and that it just prolongs the fossil fuel era. However, sectors such as air transport and cement and steel production are hard to transform into greener versions.

When the separated CO2 is used for an industrial purpose, the technology is called carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS).

Airbus to offset its emissions by buying carbon removal credits from Occidental

The company’s subsidiary 1PointFive said it already sold 400,000 tons of carbon removal credits from the planned direct air capture facility to Airbus. The airplane maker pre-purchased the capture and permanent sequestration of 100,000 tons of CO2 each year for four years, with an option to secure more volume in the future.

Occidental said 1PointFive’s contract is indicative of the availability of a feasible, affordable, and scalable decarbonization solution for aviation and other hard-to-abate industries. It provides another complementary solution for Airbus to address its carbon emissions and to support the broader decarbonization efforts currently underway across the air transport industry, the announcement reads.

At the same time, the aerospace giant is developing biofuels and electric and hydrogen-fueled hybrid planes.

By buying carbon removal credits, companies such as Airbus can improve their climate record and avoid greenhouse gas emission taxes.

CCS can make oil carbon-free

Occidental has just signed a deal with SK Trading International as well. It enables the South Korean company to purchase up to 200,000 barrels of so-called net zero oil per year for five years, it said.

The idea is to store 100,000 tons of captured atmospheric CO2 every year to cover the expected emissions from the entire crude oil lifecycle: production, delivery, refining and the use of the resulting product. Mathematically, it makes the fossil fuel carbon-free.

SK Trading International, a subsidiary of SK Innovation, expects to convert the oil into products such as lower-carbon aviation fuel, the statement adds.

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