Occidental Plans 70 Plants to Capture Carbon From Air by 2035

Source: By Paul Takahashi, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2022

Vicki Hollub

Vicki Hollub. Photographer: F. Carter Smith/Bloomberg

Occidental Petroleum Corp., the shale giant backed by Warren Buffett, plans to build 70 carbon capture facilities around the world by 2035 that will each remove as much as 1 million tons per year of the greenhouse gas directly from the atmosphere.

Construction on the first, $1 billion so-called direct air capture plant in the Permian Basin of West Texas is expected to start in the second half of this year, with its startup slated for late 2024, Houston-based Occidental said in a presentation to investors Wednesday.

Mounting pressure from investors has led several major oil producers to lay out plans to help slow down climate change by offsetting some of the emissions from their operations and the fossil fuels they produce with projects like wind farms and carbon capture plants.

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When fully built, the plant billed as the world’s largest DAC project, will remove the equivalent of the emissions from about 215,000 cars from the atmosphere every year, Occidental said.

Occidental also is investing $100 million this year to develop three carbon sequestration hubs by 2025. The company said it’s on track to secure more than 100,000 net acres this year for these sequestration hubs, including for multiple sequestration sites on the Gulf Coast.

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Chief Executive Officer Vicki Hollub told investors Wednesday that she expects the company’s low carbon business will ultimately become as big as its legacy chemicals business.

“Corporations and CEOs are realizing that for us to mitigate climate change in the world, it’s absolutely necessary that we take steps now,” Hollub said. “This is a sure opportunity and a way that we can definitively store and keep captured CO2 either underground or through products for forever, and it’s a path for others to make their path sustainable too.”