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Oil giants investing in B.C. company technology that scrubs CO2 from atmosphere

Don Horne   


Chevron Corp. and Occidental Petroleum Corp. are investing in a small Squamish, B.C.-based technology company that has created a carbon-capture system it claims can scrub CO2 from the atmosphere.

According to the Financial Post, the privately held Carbon Engineering Ltd. already counts some big-name investors among its shareholders, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. founder Murray Edwards.

Now, San Ramon, Calif.-based Chevron and Houston-based Occidental have also made undisclosed investments in Carbon Engineering, which the company says it will use to develop and rollout a commercial version of its pilot facility, which captures CO2 from the atmosphere.

Carbon Engineering is still in discussions with additional potential investors, including from the oil and gas industry that are looking for new technologies to reduce their total emissions.


For the full Financial Post story, click here.

The company describes its pilot in Squamish as a “negative emissions facility” that can subtract CO2 emitted by cars, factories and other industrial sources.

“If we decide as a country that we want to build pipelines and we want to build LNG facilities and they are essential for our economy, but they have emissions, then maybe you offset that by building a negative emissions facility,” Carbon Engineering CEO Steve Oldham said in an interview with the Financial Post.

A commercial scale negative-emissions plant would scrub 1 megaton of CO2 from the atmosphere per year and occupy 30 acres of land. Oldham said the facility would be the equivalent of planting 40 million trees.

“It’s not sufficient to reduce emissions. We have to start removing the CO2 we’ve already put in the atmosphere,” Oldham said.

He would not say whether Chevron, Occidental or Canadian Natural planned to be among the first to deploy the CO2 sequestration technology, but said that oil and gas companies that use CO2 for enhanced oil recovery see the value in capturing and using CO2.

Enhanced oil recovery involves stimulating older oil and gas reservoirs with CO2 or water to pressurize the formations, stimulating the more production from existing wells. Occidental uses this method at many of its operations.

“Carbon Engineering’s direct air capture technology has the unique capability to capture and provide large volumes of atmospheric CO2. This capability complements Occidentals’enhanced oil recovery business and provides further synergies by enabling large-scale CO2 utilization and sequestration,” Richard Jackson, Occidental’s senior vice president of operations said in a release.

(Financial Post/National Post)


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