Through an acquisition, Equinor has joined a joint venture carbon capture and storage project in southeast Texas. Image via Getty Images

Equinor buys into massive CCS joint venture project near Houston

M&A Moves

A Norwegian energy company with its United States headquarters in Houston has announced it has acquired a significant chunk of a carbon capture and storage joint venture.

Equinor now owns a 25 percent interest in Bayou Bend CCS LLC, which is reported to be one of the largest domestic carbon capture and storage projects. The project — a JV between Chevron, Talos Energy Inc., and now Equinor, is located along the Gulf Coast in southeast Texas. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Commercial CCS solutions are critical for hard-to-abate industries to meet their climate ambitions while maintaining their activity," Grete Tveit, senior vice president for Low Carbon Solutions in Equinor, says in a news release. "Entering Bayou Bend strengthens our low carbon solutions portfolio and supports our ambition to mature and develop 15-30 million tonnes of equity CO2 transport and storage capacity per year by 2035. Our experience from developing carbon storage projects can help advance decarbonization efforts in one of the largest industrial corridors in the US."

According to Equinor, it purchased its share through the acquisition of Carbonvert's subsidiary, Texas Carbon 1 LLC. Chevron, the operator, holds 50 percent interest, and Talos holds the other 25 percent interest.

“We look forward to working together with our partners to further mature this exciting project. Bayou Bend is Equinor’s first announced low carbon solutions project on the Gulf Coast. Alongside our upstream production and offshore wind developments, we’re strengthening our position as a broad energy company and expanding our footprint in the Gulf region,” Chris Golden, senior vice president and US Country Manager, says in the release. "Bayou Bend is a significant milestone towards growing our low carbon portfolio in the US.”

With about 140,000 gross acres of pore space for permanent CO2 sequestration and over one billion metric tons of gross potential storage resources, according to the release, Bayou Bend is positioned to be one of the largest CCS solutions in the US for industrial emitters.The project spans around 100,000 gross acres across Chambers and Jefferson Counties in southeast Texas, and approximately 40,000 gross acres offshore Beaumont and Port Arthur.

“Delivering lower carbon solutions to harder-to-abate industries is fundamental to Chevron New Energies’ mission, and as a Southeast Texas native, I know how vital these industries are to our local communities and their economies,” Chris Powers, vice president of CCUS at Chevron New Energies, in the release. “We thank Carbonvert for its work on the project, and we look forward to Equinor bringing its expertise and resources to Bayou Bend as it joins the partnership.”

Each of the company's low-carbon innovation arms — Low Carbon Solutions at Equinor, Chevron New Energies division, and Talos Low Carbon Solutions division — are collaborating on the project.

“We continue to make significant progress in developing Bayou Bend, which we believe will be a premier regional carbon storage hub solution for Texas’ largest industrial region. Equinor is a welcomed addition to the partnership. Their experience and track record further enhance the joint venture, which is committed to developing safe, reliable, cost-effective lower carbon solutions while enabling continued economic growth,” said Robin Fielder, executive vice president – Low Carbon Strategy and Chief Sustainability Officer of Talos.

In 2021, Texas General Land Office in Jefferson County, Texas, selected Talos and Carbonvert for the carbon storage lease, located in state waters offshore Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas. Chevron joined the JV in May 2022. The project expanded earlier this year.

The project is located in southeast Texas, about 70 miles outside of Houston. Image via equinor.com

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Chevron, TotalEnergies back energy storage startup's $15.8M series A

money moves

A California startup that's revolutionizing polymer cathode battery technology has announced its series A round of funding with support from Houston-based energy transition leaders.

LiNova Energy Inc. closed a $15.8 million series A round led by Catalus Capital. Saft, a subsidiary of TotalEnergies, which has its US HQ in Houston, and Houston-based Chevron Technology Ventures, also participated in the round with a coalition of other investors.

LiNova will use the funds with its polymer cathode battery to advance the energy storage landscape, according to the company. The company uses a high-energy polymer battery technology that is designed to allow material replacement of the traditional cathode that is made up of cobalt, nickel, and other materials.

The joint development agreement with Saft will have them collaborate to develop the battery technology for commercialization in Saft's key markets.

“We are proud to collaborate with LiNova in scaling up its technology, leveraging the extensive experience of Saft's research teams, our newest prototype lines, and our industrial expertise in battery cell production," Cedric Duclos, CEO of Saft, says in a news release.

CTV recently announced its $500 million Future Energy Fund III, which aims to lead on emerging mobility, energy decentralization, industrial decarbonization, and the growing circular economy. Chevron has promised to spend $10 billion on lower carbon energy investments and projects by 2028.

Houston innovation leaders secure SBA funding to start equitability-focused energy lab

trying for DEI

A group of Houston's innovation and energy leaders teamed up to establish an initiative supporting equitability in the energy transition.

Impact Hub Houston, a nonprofit incubator and ecosystem builder, partnered with Energy Tech Nexus to establish the Equitable Energy Transition Alliance and Lab to accelerate startup pilots for underserved communities. The initiative announced that it's won the 2024 U.S. Small Business Administration Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, or GAFC, Stage One award.

"We are incredibly honored to be recognized by the SBA alongside our esteemed partners at Energy Tech Nexus," Grace Rodriguez, co-founder and executive director of Impact Hub Houston, says in a news release. "This award validates our shared commitment to building a robust innovation ecosystem in Houston, especially for solutions that advance the Sustainable Development Goals at the critical intersections of industry, innovation, sustainability, and reducing inequality."

The GAFC award, which honors and supports small business research and development, provides $50,000 prize to its winners. The Houston collaboration aligns with the program's theme area of Sustainability and Biotechnology.

“This award offers us a great opportunity to amplify the innovations of Houston’s clean energy and decarbonization pioneers,” adds Juliana Garaizar, founding partner of the Energy Tech Nexus. “By combining Impact Hub Houston’s entrepreneurial resources with Energy Tech Nexus’ deep industry expertise, we can create a truly transformative force for positive change.”

Per the release, Impact Hub Houston and Energy Tech Nexus will use the funding to recruit new partners, strengthen existing alliances, and host impactful events and programs to help sustainable startups access pilots, contracts, and capital to grow.

"SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Stage One winners join the SBA’s incredible network of entrepreneurial support organizations contributing to America’s innovative startup ecosystem, ensuring the next generation of science and technology-based innovations scale into thriving businesses," says U.S. SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman.

———

This article originally ran on InnovationMap.

Texas-based Tesla gets China's initial approval of self-driving software

global greenlight

Shares of Tesla stock rallied Monday after the electric vehicle maker's CEO, Elon Musk, paid a surprise visit to Beijing over the weekend and reportedly won tentative approval for its driving software.

Musk met with a senior government official in the Chinese capital Sunday, just as the nation’s carmakers are showing off their latest electric vehicle models at the Beijing auto show.

According to The Wall Street Journal, which cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter, Chinese officials told Tesla that Beijing has tentatively approved the automaker's plan to launch its “Full Self-Driving,” or FSD, software feature in the country.

Although it's called FSD, the software still requires human supervision. On Friday the U.S. government’s auto safety agency said it is investigating whether last year’s recall of Tesla’s Autopilot driving system did enough to make sure drivers pay attention to the road. Tesla has reported 20 more crashes involving Autopilot since the recall, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In afternoon trading, shares in Tesla Inc., which is based in Austin, Texas, surged to end Monday up more than 15% — its biggest one-day jump since February 2020. For the year to date, shares are still down 22%.

Tesla has been contending with its stock slide and slowing production. Last week, the company said its first-quarter net income plunged by more than half, but it touted a newer, cheaper car and a fully autonomous robotaxi as catalysts for future growth.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives called the news about the Chinese approval a “home run” for Tesla and maintained his “Outperform” rating on the stock.

“We note Tesla has stored all data collected by its Chinese fleet in Shanghai since 2021 as required by regulators in Beijing,” Ives wrote in a note to investors. “If Musk is able to obtain approval from Beijing to transfer data collected in China abroad this would be pivotal around the acceleration of training its algorithms for its autonomous technology globally.”