Occidental Petroleum to go net-zero carbon emissions by 2040

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One of the biggest U.S. oil and gas producers, Occidental Petroleum, is the latest company to lay out a plan to go net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.

As the industry faces pressures from the market and investors who want the industry to operate with new climate protocols, net-zero carbon emissions have become a rising trend.

Coal as a source for energy is in a downtrend with companies like Toshiba, Siemens and General Electric, among many others from the oil and gas industry, announcing emissions targets or withdrawals from coal use.

Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) will provide further details on its net-zero plans by the end of November, along with the publication of its sustainability report. The announcement was made by Vicki Hollub, CEO, according to Reuters, on an earnings call with analysts.

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New tech for capturing carbon emissions

In fact, Hollub advanced an announcement about a unit of Oxy that will pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Development will be the largest facility ever to do that, via a process known as “direct air capture”.

The captured gas will be reinjected in the Permian Basin area to increase pressure and speed up production. The project is intended to lower Oxy’s oil recovery costs and to establish a new business area with other companies trying to reduce its carbon footprint.

According to Hollub, the project won’t need much investment through 2021, as Oxy’s will not spend more than $2.9 million on new projects. An investment such as this will keep its oil and gas outputs flat.

Earlier this week, Oxy posted its third quarter of 2020 financial results. The company reported about $3.8 billion net losses, attributable to common stockholders. Also, $700 million losses associated with divestitures of onshore Colombia and mineral acreage in Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah.

“We delivered improved operating cash flow in the third quarter and achieved the highest quarterly free cash flow since 2011, driven by the strong performance of our businesses and our laser focus on margin preservation, reflecting our leadership as a low-cost operator,” Hollub said.

Finally, the company committed to advance in this low-carbon trend, which will expand its business. “Our Oxy Low Carbon Ventures subsidiary is advancing leading-edge technologies and business solutions that economically grow our business while reducing carbon emissions. We are committed to using our global leadership in carbon dioxide management to advance a lower-carbon world,” the report concludes.

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