US, Canadian Energy Companies Bet Big on CCS Projects

U.S. and Canadian energy majors have been investing big on carbon capture projects, as part of their efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net-zero emission targets. A carbon capture and storage (CCS) process captures carbon dioxide (CO2) generated from industrial activity, transports it, and then stores it underground. The United States have earmarked $3.7 billion to fund such projects and meet its net-zero emissions goal by 2050. The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act offers direct air-capture projects a $180 per ton credit from $50 previously.

Around 80 projects aim to be operational before 2030, and the International Energy Agency’s (IEA)says the U.S. could see CO2 capture capacity increase five-times to over 100 metric tons (Mt)  CO2 annually. Canada, meanwhile has around 15  projects in various phases of development.

In the United States, almost all energy giants have been venturing into CCS projects in order to cut emissions.

Exxon Mobil is advancing plans for over 20 CCS opportunities globally, including options for producing low-carbon hydrogen.

The company will also jointly study with Japan’s Nippon Steel and Mitsubishi Corp CCS and value chain establishments  in the Asia-Pacific region.

Chevron launched a unit in 2021 that oversees around nine CCS ventures in Americas and six in the Asia-Pacific.

ConocoPhillips is evaluating a CCS hub on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Its 25,000-acre position in southeast Louisiana has been identified as a potential hub.

Occidental Petroleum also launched a new unit called Oxy Low Carbon Ventures for its carbon capture, utilization and emissions reduction operations, and is currently involved in about nine carbon innovation projects. The company expects to double its spending to $200 million this year on lower carbon projects.

Private equity company EQT Corp’s alliance is developing low-carbon and hydrogen hubs in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Air Products operates a large-scale system to capture CO2 from its reformers at its Texas refinery. The chemical industry company will invest $4.5 billion for a blue hydrogen production facility to capture over five million Mt per year of CO2. The facility will be operational in 2026.

Air Products, in collaboration with the Canadian government, is also building a net-zero hydrogen energy complex to capture over 95% of CO2 from feedstock natural gas.

Food processing company Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) has been operating CCS wells in Decatur for over a decade and plans to expand their capacity. It aims to connect its corn processing facilities in Iowa to existing CCS wells in Decatur through a CO2 pipeline built and operated by Wolf Carbon Solutions.

Phillips 66 is looking at emission cuts from its Humber refinery in the UK with Shell’s carbon capture technology. The project is expected to start in 2027, and capture at least 95% of the refinery’s CO2.

Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC), which is part of three alliances, captured approximately 478,000 tons of CO2 in 2021.

Petroleum refiner Valero and investment management company BlackRock are partnering with Navigator Energy Services to develop a pipeline system by late-2024, with a capacity to store up to 5 million Mt of C02 per year.

In Canada, six companies, which represent 95% of the country’s oil sands production, created the Pathways Alliance for net zero emissions by 2050. The group wants to store CO2 at a hub in Alberta by 2030, and it could cost C$16.5 billion.

Canadian oil major Suncor agreed to invest in CCS technology firm Svante in 2021.

Pipeline operator Enbridge and Occidental Petroleum announced in November they would develop a CO2 sequestration hub in the Texas Gulf Coast. Enbridge also has agreements in place with Capital Power and Heidelberg Materials to store CO2 at its Alberta storage facility.

TC Energy, together with Pembina Pipeline Corp, is developing transportation and sequestration systems to transport over 20 million tons of CO2 annually.

Canadian Natural Resources’ CCS facilities have already a combined capacity of 2.7 million tons.

Cenovus Energy operates two projects, which capture about 89,000 tons of CO2. It plans to implement CCS at two plants and add one at Lloydminster.

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