CEO wants Occidental to become carbon neutral

Article by Adam Duckett

OCCIDENTAL Petroleum CEO Vicki Hollub has said she wants the international oil firm to become carbon neutral.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Hollub said she wants the firm to capture greenhouse gases equivalent to those produced throughout its operations, its supply chain, and through the use of the oil and gas it pumps from the earth.

“We believe if you’re not addressing these [climate] issues today, you’re going to be behind the game,” she told the FT.  The company has not set a date for when it would achieve this highly ambitious target but it follows commitments to projects and initiatives aimed at reducing emissions from the oil and gas sector. The company currently injects more than 950bn ft3/y of CO2 into its Permian fields, making it the largest user of the technique in the booming oil region. It says the technique can increase production levels by 10–25%.

Hollub revealed that it has successfully piloted the use of enhanced oil recovery in its horizontal wells in its US shale plays. She told the FT it could apply the technique at full-field scale in 2021. The ambition is to use CO2 captured from industry to produce more oil from its fields, permanently storing the CO2 and offsetting emissions from the use of the hydrocarbons produced.

In February, Occidental invested in Canadian direct air capture (DAC) company Carbon Engineering, to help commercialise its capture and Air to Fuels technologies. Last year, the company announced it had joined a CCUS project that would capture CO2 from ethanol facilities owned by White Energy in Texas, and transport it for use in its EOR operations. In November, it announced it would invest in NET Power, which is developing a gas-fired power plant system based on the Allam-cycle that uses oxy-combustion and achieves inherent CO2 capture. This followed Occidental joining the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) which was established by oil companies in 2014 to develop low emission technology.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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