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.

The collaboration will help Amperon's energy sector clients to "successfully navigate the evolving grid to improve reliability, optimize asset economics, and accelerate decarbonization." Photo via amperon.co

Houston energy tech company taps Microsoft tools to accelerate AI adoption for decarbonization

teaming up

Amperon has announced that it is replatforming its AI-powered energy analytics technology onto Microsoft Azure.

The collaboration will help Amperon's energy sector clients to "successfully navigate the evolving grid to improve reliability, optimize asset economics, and accelerate decarbonization," according to the company.

"This collaboration with Microsoft marks a significant step forward in our mission to modernize energy data and AI infrastructure. By replatforming our technology onto Microsoft Azure and enabling our customers to use Microsoft's analytics stack with our data, we aim to empower users to make informed decisions as they navigate the energy transition," Abe Stanway, CTO of Amperon, says in the news release.

Amperon, which announced last fall that it closed its series B round at $20 million, created a platform that provides AI modeling and forecasting methodologies critical to decision making as energy companies decarbonize amid the evolving energy transition. The combined technology and tools will only enhance the user experience with modern data capabilities, per the release

"We are pleased to collaborate with Amperon to enable our customers with a scalable data analytics platform for forecasting – one of the most essential ingredients to managing an increasingly complex energy grid. Together, we will drive energy solution advancements and contribute to a more sustainable future," adds Hanna Grene of Microsoft.

The CERAWeek by S&P Global 2024 programming will reflect on the reality of the energy transition, including its progress in different regions and across industries, technologies, and politics. Photo by Natalie Harms/InnovationMap

CERAWeek 2024 returns to Houston to feature thought leadership on energy transition

coming soon

For the 42nd time, CERAWeek is convening energy leaders from around the world for a conference the week of March 18 — and the action will all take place in downtown Houston.

CERAWeek by S&P Global 2024, with its theme of "Multidimensional Energy Transition: Markets, climate, technology and geopolitics," will zero in on the world's journey to zero-carbon, specifically exploring "strategies for a multidimensional, multispeed and multifuel energy transition," according to a news release. The programming will reflect on the reality of the energy transition, including its progress in different regions and across industries, technologies, and politics.

This year, the event is chaired by Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of S&P Global and author of The New Map: Energy, Climate and the Clash of Nations.

“The increasing focus on energy transition following COP28 coincides with a growing realization of just how complex the road ahead will be,” Yergin says in the release. “Expectations of a linear path to Net-zero are giving way to recognition that this will be a multidimensional energy transition—one that is inclusive of different situations in different parts of the world and takes into account energy security and affordability.

"The reality of a multispeed transition presents both opportunities and challenges," he continues. "Meeting those challenges, and realizing the promise, of the new energy future will be the focus of the world’s energy leaders at CERAWeek 2024 in Houston.”

CERAWeek's key themes this year tackle everything from power markets and minerals to geopolitics and tech and innovation.

The CERAWeek Innovation Agora track, which is the program's deeper dive into technology and innovation will feature thought leadership "ranging across AI, decarbonization, low carbon fuels, cybersecurity, hydrogen, nuclear, mining and minerals, mobility, automation, and more," per the release.

Additionally, the “Agora Hubs,” which are dedicated areas focused on climate, hydrogen, and carbon, have returned to an expanded capacity.

The full list of CERAWeek 2024 speakers is available online, as is registration.

David Hudson has been named CEO of Elemental Recycling. Photo via LinkedIn

Houston recycling company names new CEO

mover and shaker

A Houston company that turns recycled plastics into high-purity graphene and hydrogen has named its new leader.

David Hudson has been named CEO of Elemental Recycling. The company, founded in 2019, is an investment of Freestone, a portfolio company of Tailwater Capital. He succeeds Tom Samuels, former CEO and board chair of the company.

"With over two decades of proven expertise in driving strategic growth and profitability across the recycling, waste management, sustainability, and decarbonization sectors, David brings a wealth of experience that makes him the ideal leader to take the reins and guide Elemental into its next phase of innovation and growth," Samuels says in a news release. "I am excited about the possibilities that lie ahead for the company under David's leadership. His proven track record and passion for driving positive change make him the perfect steward for the next chapter of Elemental's journey."

Hudson has over 20 years of experience within sustainability across industries. He founded and led Circulus Holdings, a company that turned post-consumer plastics into resins for commercial and industrial use. In that role, he raised almost half a billion dollars in investments, per the news release. He also held leadership roles at Ara Partners, Avangard Innovative, Recology, and Strategic Materials.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to join this exceptional team and contribute to the continued success of Elemental," Hudson says in the release. "Tom's leadership, along with the vision of founders Ron Presswood and Ian Bishop, has positioned the company to become a driving force in the recycling, sustainability, decarbonization, and advanced materials sectors.

"Elemental boasts an exceptional team, and I am eager to collaborate with each member as we navigate the path ahead," he continues. "I am confident that, together, we will grow the Company into a major player in the graphene and hydrogen production spaces and continue to advance Elemental's mission of sustainability."

Among Dimensional Energy's funders are Microsoft and United. Photo via dimensionalenergy.com

Decarbonization tech startup with Houston office scores $20M from United, Microsoft, and others

Money moves

Climatech company Dimensional Energy, which operates a Houston office, has scooped up $20 million in series A funding.

Founded in 2014, Ithaca, New York-based Dimensional Energy specializes in producing decarbonization technology, sustainable aviation fuel, and carbon emissions-derived fuels and materials. South Korea’s Envisioning Partners led the round, with participation from investors such as:

  • United Airlines’ Sustainable Flight Fund
  • Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund
  • RockCreek Group’s Smart Aviation Futures fund
  • DSC Investment
  • Delek US
  • Empire State Development
  • Climate Tech Circle

The company also says it’s working toward becoming a certified B Corporation. Businesses that achieve this certification seek to balance purpose and profit.

Dimensional Energy says the $20 million funding round positions it for “significant growth,” enabling it to:

  • Build the world’s first advanced power-to-liquid fuel plant and continue developing commercial power-to-liquid fuel plants.
  • Roll out the company’s initial B2B and B2C products, such as a fossil-free surf wax and a cruelty-free fat alternative for vegan food manufacturers.
  • Evolve the company’s proprietary reactor and catalyst technologies, which are being tested at its pilot plant in Tucson, Arizona.

“The world needs immediate and rapid decarbonization across all sectors, and Dimensional Energy shows great promise as a cleaner and lower-carbon aviation solution alongside reductions in industrial emissions,” Brandon Middaugh, senior director of Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund, says in a news release.

Dimensional Energy’s technology transforms carbon dioxide emissions into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), renewable diesel, and synthetic paraffin that can be refined into more than 6,000 everyday products.

“Dimensional Energy particularly stood out to us for their differentiated technology, exceptional team, and significant progress to date towards producing SAF and other industrial products from CO2,” says Justin Heyman, managing director at RockCreek. “This technology can significantly reduce the environmental footprint of the airline industry.”

Lummus Technology and Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions Corp. announced a collaboration agreement that will have both companies pursuing carbon capture projects. Photo courtesy of Toshiba

Houston-based sustainability company partners with Toshiba on carbon capture projects

teamwork

Two global companies have announced a collaborative effort toward pursuing carbon capture projects.

Toshiba’s subsidiary Toshiba Energy Systems will provide its advanced amine-based solvents, which are specifically tailored for post-combustion carbon capture, as well as its “system design guidelines” aimed for Toshiba’s solvents. Houston-based Lummus Technology will provide its post-combustion carbon capture technology.

Lummus’ access to Toshiba’s advanced amine-based post-combustion carbon capture solvents and technology will be vital for the project. Toshiba’s amine-based post-combustion carbon has been used in commercial and demonstration plants in Japan, and have allowed capturing of over 600 tons per day of CO2. With this access, Lummus can integrate its technology into project designs, and deliver “operational excellence and a competitive cost structure for customers,” according to the company.

Lummus can offer clients an OPEX-competitive solution by incorporating Toshiba’s advanced solvents that will be characterized by reduced amine emissions, lower specific energy consumption per ton of CO2 absorbed, and higher solvent stability against degradation.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Lummus to introduce our advanced amine-based solvent and CO2 capture solution to a broader audience,” Shinya Fujitsuka, senior vice president of Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions Corp., says in a news release. “Addressing the urgent need for decarbonization is paramount, and I have every confidence that our partnership with Lummus will enable us to make meaningful contributions towards achieving this goal.”

Both companies have been active in these innovations for years. Lummus has been a leader in post-combustion carbon capture technology since the 1990s by using latest generation solvent technology that provides the full design involving an absorber and solvent regeneration systems, which can be applied to complex combustion flue gas streams. Since 2007, Toshiba has been considered an industry leader in post-combustion amine-based solvent CO2 capture technology.

“I am excited about our partnership with Toshiba, which expands Lummus’ range of low carbon solutions and aligns with our commitment to lowering emissions for the downstream energy industry,” Leon de Bruyn, president and CEO of Lummus Technology, says in the release. “Combining Lummus’ post-combustion carbon capture technology with Toshiba’s highly competitive solvents and technology gives our customers a strong option for CAPEX and OPEX solutions as they advance their carbon capture investments.”

Lummus has recently secured other partnerships with Dongyang Environment Group to roll out Lummus' advanced plastics recycling technology in Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea, and will be operated by Dongyang Environment's subsidiary, Seohae Green Chemical. Lummus also paired with Citroniq Chemicals to build North American plants that produce green polypropylene.

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ExxonMobil's $60B acquisition gets FTC clearance — with one condition

M&A moves

ExxonMobil's $60 billion deal to buy Pioneer Natural Resources on Thursday received clearance from the Federal Trade Commission, but the former CEO of Pioneer was barred from joining the new company's board of directors.

The FTC said Thursday that Scott Sheffield, who founded Pioneer in 1997, colluded with OPEC and OPEC+ to potentially raise crude oil prices. Sheffield retired from the company in 2016, but he returned as president and CEO in 2019, served as CEO from 2021 to 2023, and continues to serve on the board. Since Jan. 1, he has served as special adviser to the company’s chief executive.

“Through public statements, text messages, in-person meetings, WhatsApp conversations and other communications while at Pioneer, Sheffield sought to align oil production across the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico with OPEC+,” according to the FTC. It proposed a consent order that Exxon won't appoint any Pioneer employee, with a few exceptions, to its board.

Dallas-based Pioneer said in a statement it disagreed with the allegations but would not impede closing of the merger, which was announced in October 2023.

“Sheffield and Pioneer believe that the FTC’s complaint reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the U.S. and global oil markets and misreads the nature and intent of Mr. Sheffield’s actions,” the company said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said it was “disappointing that FTC is making the same mistake they made 25 years ago when I warned about the Exxon and Mobil merger in 1999.”

Schumer and 22 other Democratic senators had urged the FTC to investigate the deal and a separate merger between Chevron and Hess, saying they could lead to higher prices, hurt competition and force families to pay more at the pump.

The deal with Pioneer vastly expands Exxon’s presence in the Permian Basin, a huge oilfield that straddles the border between Texas and New Mexico. Pioneer’s more than 850,000 net acres in the Midland Basin will be combined with Exxon’s 570,000 net acres in the Delaware and Midland Basin, nearly contiguous fields that will allow the combined company to trim costs.

ExxonMobil revs up EV pilot in Permian Basin

seeing green

ExxonMobil has upgraded its Permian Basin fleet of trucks with sustainability in mind.

The Houston-headquartered company announced a new pilot program last week, rolling out 10 new all-electric pickup trucks at its Cowboy Central Delivery Point in southeast New Mexico. It's the first time the company has used EVs in any of its upstream sites, including the Permian Basin.

“We expect these EV trucks will require less maintenance, which will help reduce cost, while also contributing to our plan to achieve net zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions in our Permian operations by 2030," Kartik Garg, ExxonMobil's New Mexico production manager, says in a news release.

ExxonMobil has already deployed EV trucks at its facilities in Baytown, Beaumont, and Baton Rouge, but the Permian Basin, which accounts for about half of ExxonMobil's total U.S. oil production, is a larger site. The company reports that "a typical vehicle there can log 30,000 miles a year."

The EV rollout comes after the company announced last year that it plans to be a major supplier of lithium for EV battery technology.

At the end of last year, ExxonMobil increased its financial commitment to implementing more sustainable solutions. The company reported that it is pursuing more than $20 billion of lower-emissions opportunities through 2027.

Cowboys and the EVs of the Permian Basin | ExxonMobilyoutu.be