AT&T makes deal with Oxy for carbon credits

seeing green

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.

The AT&T deal comes just one month after 1PointFive announced a similar agreement with Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation, which specializes in industrial automation and digital transformation.

In November, Occidental announced that New York City-based investment manager BlackRock was chipping in $550 million as part of a joint venture to build STRATOS. The project, set to be completed in 2025, is designed to capture up to 500,000 metric tons of carbon emissions once it’s fully online.

Under 1PointFive’s deal with Dallas-based AT&T, CO2 underpinning the removal credits will be sucked out of the air and stored in underground salt-water formations.

In conjunction with the DAC deal, 1PointFive has joined AT&T’s Connected Climate Initiative, an effort aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by one gigaton by 2035.

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

Oxy's sustainability subsidiary announces DAC agreement with commodities group

new deal

Oxy's carbon capture, utilization and sequestration company announced it's latest carbon dioxide removal credits purchasing agreement with a global commodities group.

Trafigura has agreed to purchase carbon dioxide removal credits to be produced from 1PointFive’s first industrial-scale Direct Air Capture facility, Stratos, that is being built in Texas.

Stratos, which is expected to be the largest facility of its kind in the world, will be configured to be able to capture up to 500,000 metric tons of CO2 annually when fully operational. The captured CO2 underlying Trafigura’s removal credits plan to be stored through durable subsurface saline sequestration.

The advance purchase of DAC credits from 1PointFive will support early-stage technologies to enable high-quality carbon removal credits. The deal can lead to broader adoption of 1PointFive’s CDR credits to help hard-to-abate industries address their emissions.

“We are delighted to collaborate with 1PointFive as we expand our global customer offering for hard-to-abate sectors,” Hannah Hauman, global head of Carbon Trading for Trafigura, says in a news release. “Supporting the development of large-scale removals projects demonstrates our commitment to advancing carbon sequestration technologies, underpinning demand today to enable the scaling of production for tomorrow.”

1PointFive is working to help curb global temperature rise to 1.5°C by 2050 through the deployment of decarbonization solutions, which includes Carbon Engineering's Direct Air Capture and AIR TO FUELS solutions alongside geologic sequestration hubs.

Last November, Canada’s TD Securities investment bank agreed to buy 27,500 metric tons of carbon removal credits from 1PointFive's Stratos, news that followed Amazon's commitment to purchase 250,000 metric tons of carbon removal credits. BlackRock has agreed to pump $550 million into the project, the company reported last fall.

Trafigura continues to invest in renewable energy projects and technologies to facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy. The company works through joint ventures including H2Energy Europe and Nala Renewables. The deal is Trafigura’s first transaction towards meeting its 2023 goal, as is its commitment as a Founding Member of the First Movers Coalition to purchase at least 50,000 tons of durable and scalable net carbon dioxide removal credits generated through advanced CDR technologies.

Oxy, which broke ground on its DAC project Stratos earlier this year, has secured a $550 million commitment from a financial partner. Photo via 1pointfive.com

Oxy subsidiary gets $550M boost to form new CCUS joint venture

howdy, partner

Occidental Petroleum’s direct air capture (DAC) initiative just got a more than half-a-billion-dollar investment from Blackrock, the world’s largest asset management company.

Houston-based Occidental announced November 7 that on behalf of its investment clients, BlackRock has agreed to pump $550 million into the DAC facility, called Stratos, that Oxy is building in the Midland-Odessa area. The investment will be carried out through a joint venture between BlackRock and Oxy subsidiary 1PointFive, which specializes in carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS).

A groundbreaking ceremony for Stratos — being billed as the world’s largest DAC operation — was held in April 2023. Construction is scheduled to be completed in mid-2025. The facility is expected to capture up to 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.

Among the organizations that have agreed to buy carbon removal credits from 1Point5 are Amazon, Airbus, All Nippon Airways, TD Bank, the Houston Astros, and the Houston Texans.

Occidental says 1PointFive plans to set up more than 100 DAC facilities worldwide by 2035.

Vicki Hollub, president and CEO of Oxy, says the joint venture with BlackRock demonstrates that DAC is “becoming an investable technology.”

“We believe that BlackRock’s expertise across global markets and industries makes them the ideal partner to help further industrial-scale [DAC],” she says.

DAC removes CO2 from the atmosphere then stores it in underground geological formations.

“Occidental’s technical expertise brings unprecedented scale to this cutting-edge decarbonization technology,” says Larry Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock.

He adds that Stratos “represents an incredible investment opportunity for BlackRock’s clients to invest in this unique energy infrastructure project and underscores the critical role of American energy companies in climate technology innovation.”

1PointFive, Oxy's CCUS subsidiary, has secured a deal that's being billed as among the largest carbon removal credit deals. Photo via oxy.com

Oxy's CCUS subsidiary inks massive carbon removal credit deal

making moves

Canada’s TD Securities investment bank has agreed to buy 27,500 metric tons of carbon removal credits from the 1PointFive subsidiary of Houston-based energy company Occidental Petroleum.

The four-year deal involves 1PointFive’s first direct air capture (DAC) plant, called Stratos, which is under construction in the Midland-Odessa area. The Occidental Petroleum subsidiary specializes in carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS). Under this agreement, the captured CO2 underlying the carbon credits will be stored through geologic sequestration.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Stratos will be capable of capturing and removing up to 500,000 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere per year, 1PointFive says.

Michael Avery, president and general manager of 1PointFive, says in a November 1 news release that TD Securities’ purchase of carbon removal credits demonstrates how DAC “can become a vital tool in an organization’s sustainability strategy and help further net-zero goals.”

“Carbon removal credits from [DAC] will be measurable, transparent, and durable, with the goal of providing a solution for organizations to address their emissions,” Avery adds.

The 1PointFive deal is part of TD Securities’ broader decarbonization initiative.

“As the need to move from climate commitments to action intensifies, corporations across all sectors are looking for tangible ways to achieve their net-zero goals,” says Amy West, global head of ESG solutions at TD Securities.

In September, 1PointFive announced a 10-year deal with e-commerce giant Amazon to purchase 250,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide removal credits via Stratos.

Events not to miss, nomination deadline for awards program for innovative energy businesses, and more things to know this week. Photo via Getty Images

Calling all energy startups, Amazon enters the DAC chat, and more things to know this week

hou knew?

Editor's note: It's a new week — start it strong with three quick things to know in Houston's energy transition ecosystem. Submit an energy transition company to an awards program, read how Amazon entered the DAC conversation, and learn about events not to miss this week.

Houston Innovation Awards nominations coming to a close

Photo via Getty Images

If you haven't heard, EnergyCapital's sister site, InnovationMap, is accepting nominations for the 2023 Houston Innovation Awards. The deadline to submit is tomorrow, September 19, and there are several categories that might be of interest to the Houston energy transition ecosystem, such as:

  • Hardtech Business, honoring an innovative company developing and commercializing a physical technology
  • Digital Solutions Business, honoring an innovative company developing and programming a digital solution to a problem in an industry
  • Sustainability Business, honoring an innovative company providing a solution within renewables, climatetech, clean energy, alternative materials, circular economy, and beyond
  • Corporate of the Year, honoring a corporation that supports startups and/or the Houston innovation community
  • People's Choice: Startup of the Year, selected via an interactive voting portal during the event
Now, these are only a few categories this year. To submit a nomination and read more about the awards, click here.

Events to have on your radar

Photo courtesy of The Cannon

  • September 21 — The Rice Alliance Energy Tech Venture Forum is an opportunity to learn about the latest emerging technologies, meet investors to seek funding, see promising companies, and more. (Note: I'm moderating a panel about venture investment at 2 pm)
  • September 21 — UH Energy Symposium, a panel series, is hosting its next installment, entitled Plastics, Chemicals, Circularity: What's Next?
  • September 28 — Chevron Technology Ventures seeks to identify novel technologies and innovation systems that stand to transform and improve facility-focused operational efficiencies, via the Chevron Technology Ventures Pitch Competition. Six Houston companies will compete to win a tailored field trial opportunity with CTV experts, plus a six-month, complimentary, flexible-workspace membership at The Cannon.

Amazon makes investment in direct air capture by way of Houston-based Oxy

Photo via 1pointfive.com

Houston-based cleantech company 1PointFive is among the recipients of e-commerce giant Amazon’s first investments in carbon-fighting direct air capture (DAC).

Amazon has agreed to buy 250,000 metric tons of carbon removal credits from Stratos, 1PointFive’s first DAC plant, over a 10-year span. That commitment is equivalent to the amount of carbon stored naturally across more than 290,000 acres of U.S. forecasts, says Amazon.

As Amazon explains, DAC technology filters CO2 from the atmosphere and stores it in underground geological formations. Aside from being stored, removed carbon can be used to make building materials like bricks, cement, and concrete. Read more.

Amazon has agreed to buy 250,000 metric tons of carbon removal credits from 1PointFive’s first DAC plant. Photo via 1pointfive.com

Oxy's cleantech arm scores Amazon DAC investment

carbon capture client

Houston-based cleantech company 1PointFive is among the recipients of e-commerce giant Amazon’s first investments in carbon-fighting direct air capture (DAC).

Amazon has agreed to buy 250,000 metric tons of carbon removal credits from Stratos, 1PointFive’s first DAC plant, over a 10-year span. That commitment is equivalent to the amount of carbon stored naturally across more than 290,000 acres of U.S. forecasts, says Amazon.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

1PointFive is a carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) subsidiary of Houston-based energy company Occidental Petroleum.

The carbon captured for Amazon will be stored deep underground in saline aquifers — large geological rock formations that are saturated in saltwater.

As Amazon explains, DAC technology filters CO2 from the atmosphere and stores it in underground geological formations. Aside from being stored, removed carbon can be used to make building materials like bricks, cement, and concrete.

1PointFive is constructing its first DAC plant in Ector County, which is anchored by Odessa. The facility is expected to be the world’s largest DAC plant, capturing up to 500,000 tons of CO2 per year. Amazon Web Services (AWS) will provide real-time performance data for the plant.

“Amazon’s purchase and long-term contract represent a significant commitment to direct air capture as a vital carbon removal solution,” Michael Avery, president and general manager of 1PointFive, says in a news release. “We are excited to collaborate with Amazon to help them achieve their sustainability goals.”

1PointFive broke ground on the Stratos plant in April. Its project partners include British Columbia-based Carbon Engineering and Australia-based Worley. The plant is expected to be fully operational by mid-2025.

1PointFive envisions establishing more than 100 DAC facilities around the world by 2035.

The Amazon deal isn’t the only major deal for 1Point5 this summer.

In August, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a $600 million grant for a 1PointFive-operated DAC hub that will be built in South Texas. The more than 100,000-acre hub, comprising 30 individual DAC projects, eventually may remove and store up to 30 million metric tons of CO2 per year.

Also in August, Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) said it reached an agreement with 1PointFive to buy 10,000 metric tons of carbon removal credits per year over a three-year period starting in 2025. The credits will be generated by 1PointFive’s Stratos plant.

In the U.S., DAC has gotten a huge boost from the federal government. The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in 2022, includes tax credits for capturing and storing carbon via DAC.

The International Energy Agency says 27 DAC plants have been commissioned around the world, with at least 130 more in the development stage. One forecast predicts the value of the global market for DAC systems will climb past $2.3 billion by 2030.

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Shell fuels energy transition with roll out of EV charging stations

coming soon

As it downshifts sales of fuel for traditional vehicles, energy giant Shell is stepping up its commitment to public charging stations for electric vehicles.

In a new report on energy transition, Shells lays out an aggressive plan for growing its public network of charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs). The company plans to boost the global number of public EV charging stations from about 54,000 today to around 70,000 by 2025 and about 200,000 by 2030.

The projected growth from today to 2030 would represent a 270 percent increase in the number of Shell-operated EV charging stations.

“We have a major competitive advantage in terms of locations, as our global network of service stations is one of the largest in the world,” Shell says in the report.

Shell’s global network of service stations is shrinking, though. In the report, the company reveals plans to close a total of 1,000 gas stations in 2024 and 2025. Today, more than 45,000 Shell-branded gas stations are located in over 90 countries.

Aside from Shell gas stations, the company’s Shell Recharge business unit operates public EV charging stations along streets, at grocery stores, and at other locations in 33 countries.

Shell, whose U.S. headquarters is in Houston, is ramping up its EV charging network amid forecasts of slowing demand for oil and rising demand for EVs. Other than EV charging, Shell is focusing on biofuels and integrated power as components of its revamped product mix.

“Shell is well positioned to become a profitable leader in public charging for electric vehicles, meeting the growing demand from drivers who need to charge on the go,” the report says.

To accelerate its EV charging presence in the U.S., Shell in 2023 purchased Volta, a San Francisco-based operator of EV charging stations. Shell says it now operates one of the largest public EV charging networks in the U.S., with more than 3,000 charging points in 31 states and another 3,400 under development.

“The availability of charging points will be critical for the growth in electric vehicles,” the report says.

Last month, Shell divested from a solar energy subsidiary, before later announcing an exit from a wind energy joint venture.

"In-line with our Powering Progress strategy, Shell continues to hone our portfolio of renewable generation projects in key markets where we have an advantaged position," Glenn Wright, senior vice president at Shell Energy Americas, said in a news release at the time.

Rice names new leader for prestigious nanotechnology, materials science institute

take the lead

A distinguished Rice University professor has assumed the reins of a unique institute that focuses on research within nanoscience, quantum science, and materials science.

Junichiro Kono has assumed leadership of the Smalley-Curl Institute, which houses some of the world’s most accomplished researchers across fields including advanced materials, quantum magnetism, plasmonics and photonics, biophysics and bioengineering, all aspects of nanoscience and nanotechnology, and more.

“With his great track record in fostering international research talent — with student exchange programs between the U.S., Japan, Taiwan, China, Singapore and France that have introduced hundreds of students to new cultures and ways of researching science and engineering — Jun brings a wealth of experience in building cultural and technological ties across the globe,” Ramamoorthy Ramesh, executive vice president for research, says in a news release.

Kono is the Karl F. Hasselmann Professor in Engineering, chair of the Applied Physics Graduate Program and professor of electrical and computer engineering, physics and astronomy and materials science and nanoengineering, and is considered a global leader in studies of nanomaterials and light-matter interactions. He currently leads Rice’s top 10-ranked Applied Physics Graduate Program.

Under his leadership, the program is expected to double in size over. By 2029. The Smalley-Curl Institute will also add additional postdoctoral research fellowships to the current three endowed positions.

The Smalley-Curl Institute is named for Nobel Laureates Richard Smalley and Robert Curl (‘54). Earlier in his career, Kono once worked with Smalley on the physical properties of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), which led to the experimental discovery of the Aharonov-Bohm effect on the band structure of SWCNTs in high magnetic fields.

“I am deeply honored and excited to lead the Smalley-Curl Institute,” Kono says in a news release. “The opportunity to build upon the incredible legacy of Richard Smalley and Robert Curl is both a privilege and a challenge, which I embrace wholeheartedly. I’m really looking forward to working with the talented researchers and students at Rice University to further advance our understanding and application of nanomaterials and quantum phenomena. Together, we can accomplish great things.”

Kono succeeds Rice professor Naomi Halas as director of the institute. Halas is the Stanley C. Moore Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the founding director of the Laboratory for Nanophotonics.

Houston energy company diverts over 125M pounds of scrap metals from landfills

reduce, reuse, recycle

For three years, Baker Hughes has been working with a full-scale scrap processor partner to divert scrap metal waste from landfills as a part of the company's net-zero commitment by 2050.

In partnership with Venture Metals +, Baker Hughes has saved over 125 million pounds of scrap metals from more than 50 of the company's locations around the world.

Venture Metals + collects, recycles, and manages the full recycling process of scrap materials, providing recycling, reclamation, and investment recovery as a service to industrial, manufacturing, and service facilities.

“The relationship that has been formed between Baker Hughes and Venture Metals is the definition of a true partnership. Over the many years we have collaborated on significant projects and there has been a foundation of trust, transparency and investment on both sides,” Venture Metals’ Vice-Chairman of the Board Mark Chazanow says in a news release. “Together, we have been able to do our part to improve the environment by circular and sustainable recycling while also capturing substantial revenue gain. We look forward to growing the partnership and seeing a bright future ahead together.”

According to the release, Baker Hughes plans to grow the partnership to introduce similar programs at five key locations around the world. Venture Metals+ also set up Baker Hughes with customized containers to help separate titanium, stainless steel, Inconel, and other recyclable metals.

“Reducing our environmental footprint is a critical focus area for our sustainability strategy as we continue to reduce waste, minimize the resources we use and promote circularity,” Allyson Anderson Book, chief sustainability officer at Baker Hughes, adds. “Through partners like Venture Metals +, we are minimizing waste and reusing scrap materials as much as possible for more sustainable operations.”