2023 Has Already Been a Big Year for Carbon Capture in Texas

Thu, June 15, 2023

We are only just halfway through 2023, and the project developments and research on direct air capture and carbon capture taking place in Texas has been dizzying.

In April, Occidental broke ground on the world’s largest direct air capture (DAC) facility in the world. In 2022, Occidental announced it would soon begin construction on a direct air capture (DAC) hub in the Permian Basin in Ector County, Texas. Through the construction phase, the facility will employ more than 1,000 people. Once commercially operational in mid-2025, the facility is estimated to capture 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year.  The facility – named Stratos – is part of Oxy’s scenario  to develop 100 megaton direct air capture facilities worldwide by 2035.

Oxy is  developing these DAC facilities through its subsidiary 1PointFive.  Just a month earlier, in March, 1PointFive announced it had leased 55,000 acres in southeast Texas for a carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) hub. This hub is expected to be operational in 2026 and will have the capacity to hold roughly 1.2 billion metric tons of CO2.

In March, Chevron announced it would be expanding Bayou Bend CCS, its CCS project in Texas. The expanded project will now cover 140,000 acres and hold a gross storage capacity of more than one billion metric tons. Bayou Bend is a joint venture with Talos Energy and Carbonvert.

ExxonMobil revealed it would be working with Honeywell in February to deploy Honeywell’s carbon capture technology into the company’s low-carbon hydrogen production facility in Baytown, Texas. Once the technology is in place, ExxonMobil is expecting to capture the equivalent of the emissions of 1.5 million automobiles for one year. The company also signed an agreement with Linde to transport and permanently store up to 2.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year from Linde’s hydrogen production facility in Beaumont; this is equivalent to the emissions from nearly half a million cars a year.

Additionally, this year Kinder Morgan announced its first ever CCS project, which will be a joint venture between Kinder Morgan and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Growth Fund. Kinder Morgan will carry an estimated 20 million cubic feet of CO2 per day to the Permian Basin for permanent sequestration.

Texas oil and gas producers have been closely collaborating on both ongoing carbon and direct air capture projects and new research.

Rice University established a working group on carbon capture that includes operators like Baker Hughes, Chevron, Kinder Morgan, Occidental, Schlumberger and Shell. The working group brings together these oil and gas operators, academic institutions and nongovernmental organizations “to explore the deployment of carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies in the state of Texas.”

The most recent working paper from the group found that “Texas is… endowed with tremendous geologic storage potential and a very deep talent pool that is well-versed in the operational and technical demands of the subsurface. This, along with an entrepreneurial and business-friendly environment, gives Texas an inherent advantage as it positions its nascent carbon capture, utilization and/or storage (CCUS) industry for growth and leadership in a rapidly evolving space.”

These Texas developments come as carbon capture technology has received recognition as a critical technology for a sustainable future.  The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has declared that carbon capture technologies have considerable potential for mitigating climate change and carbon emissions.

Even as oil and gas operators lead the charge in developing, maturing and deploying these technologies, it is evident more direct air and carbon capture capacity will be needed.

Global CCS Institute CEO, Jarad Daniels stated: “Although CCS has seen unprecedented global growth in recent years – with 29 commercial facilities in operation and over 100 projects now in various stages of development – much more is required.”