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GHP's new research partner, DOE spotlights geothermal, and more trending Houston energy transition news

The GHP and HETI announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Argonne National Laboratory — and more trending news. Photo by Natalie Harms/EnergyCapitalHTX

Editor's note: From news from CERAWeek by S&P Global to big clean energy deals, these are the top headlines that resonated with EnergyCapital readers on social media and daily newsletter this week.

HETI to partner with national research organization to promote energy transition innovation in Houston

The GHP and HETI announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Argonne National Laboratory, a federally-funded research and development facility in Illinois. Photo via Getty Images

A new partnership between the Greater Houston Partnership and Argonne National Laboratory has been established to spur development of commercial-scale energy transition solutions.

The GHP and the Houston Energy Transition Initiative, or HETI, announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Argonne National Laboratory, a federally-funded research and development facility in Illinois. The lab is owned by the United States Department of Energy and run by UChicago Argonne LLC of the University of Chicago.

“The U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratories have long been the backbone of research, development, and demonstration for the energy sector," Bobby Tudor, CEO of Artemis Energy Partners and Chair of HETI, says in a news release. "The Partnership and HETI, working with our industry members, business community and top research and academic institutions, in collaboration with Argonne, will work across our energy innovation ecosystem to drive this critical effort for our region.” Continue reading.

DOE announces geothermal initiative, community-focused pilot at Houston energy conference

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm made two big announcements at her CERAWeek address. Photo via Jennifer Granholm/X

The Department of Energy announced two major initiatives at U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm's address earlier this week at CERAWeek by S&P Global.

The first announcement Granholm revealed on Monday, March 18, at her keynote address was the DOE's latest Pathways to Commercial Liftoff report, which are initiatives established to provide investors with information of how specific energy technologies commercialize and what challenges they each have to overcome as they scale.

"We develop these Liftoff Reports through a combination of modeling and hundreds and hundreds of interviews with people across the whole investment lifecycle—from early-stage capital to commercial banks and institutional investors," Granholm says in her address. Continue reading.

Talos Energy sells off low carbon arm to TotalEnergies in $148M deal

Talos Energy announced that it has entered into an agreement for the sale of its wholly owned subsidiary Talos Low Carbon Solutions to TotalEnergies. Photo via Getty Images

A Houston-based company is divesting its low-carbon subsidiary to TotalEnergies, which has its United States headquarters in Houston.

Talos Energy announced that it has entered into an agreement for the sale of its wholly owned subsidiary Talos Low Carbon Solutions LLC to TotalEnergies. The deal is for a purchase price of $125 million plus customary reimbursements, adjustments and retention of cash, which totals approximately $148 million.

According to a news release, Talos plans to use the proceeds from the sale to repay borrowings under its credit facility and for general corporate purposes. The sale includes Talos's entire carbon capture and sequestration business, which includes its three projects along the U.S. Gulf Coast with Bayou Bend CCS, Harvest Bend CCS, and Coastal Bend CCS. Continue reading.

AT&T makes deal with Oxy for carbon credits

Here's 1PoinFive's newest customer on its Texas CCUS project. Photo via 1pointfive.com

Telecommunications giant AT&T has agreed to purchase carbon removal credits from 1PointFive, the carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) subsidiary of Houston-based Occidental Petroleum.

Financial details weren’t disclosed.

The carbon credits will be tied to STRATOS, 1PointFive’s first large-scale direct air capture (DAC) facility. The billion-dollar project is being built near Odessa.

“AT&T’s carbon removal credit purchase is another proof point of the vital role that [DAC] can play in providing a high-integrity and durable solution to help organizations address their emissions,” Michael Avery, president and general manager of 1PointFive, says in a news release. Continue reading.

Report: Texas scores significant chunk of federal clean energy investment

For the 2023 budget year, Texas’ total pot of federal money ranked second behind California’s. Photo via Getty Images

On a per-person basis, Texas grabbed the third-highest share of federal investment in clean energy and transportation during the government’s 2023 budget year, according to a new report.

Texas’ haul — $6.2 billion in federal investments, such as tax credits and grants — from October 1, 2022, to September 30, 2023, worked out to $204 per person, bested only by Wyoming ($369) and New Mexico ($259). That’s according to the latest Clean Investment Monitor report shows. Rhodium Group and MIT’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research produced the report.

For the 2023 budget year, Texas’ total pot of federal money ranked second behind California’s ($7.5 billion), says the report. Nationwide, the federal government’s overall investment in clean energy and transportation reached $34 billion. Continue reading.

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A View From HETI

The combined technology portfolios will accelerate the introduction of promising early-stage decarbonization technology. Photo via Getty Images

SLB announced its plans to combine its carbon capture business with Norway company, Aker Carbon Capture.

Upon completion of the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of this year, SLB will own 80 percent of the combined business and ACC will own 20 percent.

According to a SLB news release, the combined technology portfolios will accelerate the introduction of promising early-stage decarbonization technology.

“For CCUS to have the expected impact on supporting global net-zero ambitions, it will need to scale up 100-200 times in less than three decades,” Olivier Le Peuch, CEO of SLB, says in the release. “Crucial to this scale-up is the ability to lower capture costs, which often represent as much as 50-70% of the total spend of a CCUS project.

The International Energy Agency estimates that over one gigaton of CO2 every year year will need to be captured by 2030 — a figure that scales up to over six gigatons by 2050.

"We are excited to create this business with ACC to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture technologies that will shift the economics of carbon capture across high-emitting industrial sectors,” Le Peuch continues.

SLB is slated to pay NOK 4.12 billion — around $379.4 million — to own 80 percent of Aker Carbon Capture Holding AS, which owns ACC, per the news release, and SLB may also pay up to NOK 1.36 billion over the next three years, depending on business performance.

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