Going, going … green

SEG invitation for SEAM CCS JIP. Advantage/Allardyce Bower announce ‘Entropy’ CCS JV. Baker Hughes green deals with Bloom Energy, Horisont Energi. New CO2 Storage Resource Catalogue. Carbo Culture’s biosynthesis for CO2 removal. Global CCS Institute on ‘most progressive’ US 45Q tax régime. GCCSI and SIPA Center on Global Energy Policy analysis of technology readiness and costs of CCS. U Houston, Gutierrez Energy Management Institute, ‘CCUS lynchpin for energy transition’. CGG/Geoptic borehole CO2 tracker. Schlumberger’s ‘carbon negative’ energy. NextDecade’s ‘green’ LNG terminal. Esri on methane mapping ambiguity. Oils to trial Scientific Aviation’s SOOFIE methane monitor. Alberta Energy Regulator Qube’s methane leak monitor. Neptune Energy and the Environmental Defense Fund test offshore methane monitors. Chevron takes stake in Baseload/Eavor geothermal projects. CGG signs with dCarbonX. Equinor/SSE Thermal CCS/hydrogen on the Humber. Technip’s BlueH2. DNV on CO2 transport regulations. Black Rock on ESG, big data and the double bottom line. Microsoft/BP ‘turn oil rigs into windmills’ (with deep data and digital twins!). MIT’s climate Action Plan for the Decade. Gaffney Cline on portfolios for the energy transition. Natural Resources Canada launches environmental Open Science and Data Platform. Hexagon’s new R-evolution sustainable business. IEA ‘Net Zero by 2050’ ‘no new fossil projects’. Microsoft ‘AI for Earth’ for Canada. UK OGA updates ESG strategy. ESA/CGG’s SeaScope satellite pollution monitor. Isar Digital Ventures’s Renewables Digital portal. SEG’s new position statement on climate change. Chenière/Shell deliver carbon-neutral LNG to Europe. Venture Global to sequester carbon at LNG export sites. Total/Siemens collaborate on emissions reduction. HOT Energy leads Austrian UEST center of excellence. IDTechEx regrets closure of Petra Nova CCUS.


The Society of Exploration Geophysicists Advanced Modeling Corporation (SEAM) is asking for input on a future SEAM modeling exercise that will address numerical simulation for CO2 sequestration. The JIP ‘Numerical Simulation of CO2 Subsurface Management’ project will run for three years, engage 10 or more companies, and is anticipated to launch later this year. SEAM CO2 will produce benchmark data sets of simulated CO2 injection and monitoring. The workplan includes numerical models, earth response, and monitoring simulations. More from SEAM. Those interested in such should also read our report on GEOX in Rice HPC in oil and gas in this issue.


Calgary-based Advantage and Allardyce Bower Consulting have rolled-out their ‘Modular Carbon Capture and Storage’ (MCCS) technology which will be implemented at the Glacier Gas Plant near Grande Prairie. A joint venture, ‘Entropy’ has been formed to market the new solution. The $27 million plant is said to operate at a cost of $15/tonne of the CO2 which is captured and stored in a deep saline aquifer. The deployment will allow Advantage to market a portion of its production as ‘blue natural gas’. More from Advantage.

Baker Hughes has teamed with Bloom Energy on the commercialization of low carbon power generation and hydrogen solutions. Bloom Energy’s solid oxide fuel cell technology (SOFC) will power Baker Hughes’ light-weight gas turbines, providing cost-effective cleaner energy generation, waste heat recovery, and grid independent power. Baker Hughes’ NovaLT gas turbines will run on hydrogen produced in Bloom’s electrolyzer cells. More from Bloom.

Baker Hughes is also involved in a joint venture with Horisont Energi to develop technologies at the Norwegian Polaris carbon capture, storage and transport project. Polaris is a component of HE’s ‘Barents Blue’ project, said to be the first carbon neutral ‘blue’ ammonia production plant, with a total storage capacity in excess of 100 million tons. Mote from Horizont.

Pale Blu Dot, on behalf of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, has published the CO2 Storage Resource Catalogue – Cycle 2, an independent evaluation of geologic CO2 storage assessments worldwide. To date the catalog covers projects in 18 countries, evaluated against the SPE Storage Resources Management System (SRMS).

Helsinki-based startup Carbo Culture plans to remove 1 billion tons of carbon from the atmosphere by 2030. CC received $6.2 million seed capital in a round led by True Ventures. CC plans to tap into the same greenhouse gas capturing process as the biosphere, using energy from the sun for photosynthesis and turning CO2 into a ‘stable and useful form’. More from CC.

The Global CCS Institute has announced that the US 45Q tax régime, ‘the most progressive CCS-specific incentive in the world’, is now ‘open for business’. The IRS has now released its Final Rule and Regulations governing the administration of the credit meaning that ‘the US is ready for a huge new market to open up’. GCCSI has produced an explainer of the three-step process required to ‘add significant financial value to the bottom line while ridding the globe of carbon dioxide’. More from GCCSI.

GCCSI has also published, with help from Columbia University’s SIPA Center on Global Energy Policy, an analysis of the technology readiness and costs of CCS. The report covers economies of scale, CO2 source gas partial pressure, energy costs and technological innovation.

The University of Houston, in collaboration with the Gutierrez Energy Management Institute and the Center for Houston’s Future, have just published a white paper, ‘Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage, the Lynchpin for the Energy Transition’. The 25-page report outlines a pathway for the Greater Houston area to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, a reduction of about 52 million tons/year from the various industry point-sources of energy production and carbon emissions. The transformation ‘will be expensive’. Capital required for carbon capture technologies, pipelines and geologic storage capacity development will be as much as $10 billion over the 30-year period. However, ‘the cost of not developing CCUS in Houston is an existential threat to these industries and to global energy leadership’. Also, Houston is favorably positioned to jumpstart a regional CCUS hub and ecosystem to service Texas, the Gulf Coast and the extended US energy system. Download the UH CCUS report here.

CGG has signed an R&D collaboration agreement with Durham, UK-based Geoptic is to trial a borehole solution for monitoring the spread of CO2 in subsurface carbon capture and storage. A new version of Geoptic’s ‘Diablo’ muon tracking tool is to be adapted to CCS applications. Continuous long-term subsurface monitoring is expected to reduce the risks associated with CO2 leakage and enhance the safety of CO2 storage projects.

Schlumberger New Energy, Chevron, Microsoft and Clean Energy Systems are to develop a biomass energy generation system combined with carbon capture and sequestration (BECCS) that will produce ‘carbon negative’ power in Mendota, California. The BECCS plant will convert agricultural waste biomass, such as almond trees*, into a renewable synthesis gas that will be mixed with oxygen in a combustor to generate electricity. More than 99% of the carbon from the BECCS process is expected to be captured for permanent storage underground, not ‘in the cloud’ as Microsoft’s involvement in the project might lead one to believe. BECCS advocacy was one of the few concrete outcomes of the 2015 Paris agreement.

* Almond trees as waste? How ‘renewable’ is that?

NextDecade is to make its Rio Grande terminal ‘the greenest LNG project in the world’ with the creation of NEXT Carbon Solutions, which is to develop one of the largest carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects in North America. CCS is expected to reduce CO2 emissions at Rio Grande LNG by ‘more than 90%’. Oxy Low Carbon Ventures has signed a ‘term sheet’ with NextDecade for CO2 transportation and storage in South Texas. OLCV will offtake and transport CO2 from the Rio Grande LNG project and sequester it in an underground geologic formation in the Rio Grande Valley. Comment – one would think that CO2 emissions at an LNG plant would be relatively small. Also, Next Decade does not appear to be addressing scope 3 (end-use) emissions, although we are assured that the LNG is to export ‘responsibly sourced natural gas’ from the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford.


Esri blogger Greg Milner, in a post titled ‘Tackling the Troubling Increase in Methane Emissions with Maps’ describes the methane mapping ambiguity that stems from the multiple potential sources of fugitive and other methane sources including oil and gas operations, agribusiness and thawing permafrost. GIS systems provide visualizations of where the problems are located, including the complications of methane seeps and leaks. Of note is the US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration mapping service that reveals methane ‘hotspots’ where pipeline incidents are most likely to occur. Elsewhere, researchers have combined data on sediment, soil, and vegetation to create a ‘GIS-oriented landscape map’. More from Milner.

Scientific Aviation has announced the launch of Project Falcon, a 6-month joint industry partner study that aims to determine the best way to deploy continuous methane monitoring technology to allow energy companies to find, detect, and repair methane leaks faster. Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Devon Energy, ExxonMobil, Pioneer Natural Resources, Shell and TRP Energy are to test Scientific Aviation’s Soofie (Systematic Observations of Facility Intermittent Emissions) system, a ground-based technology that measures methane emissions 24 hours a day. Soofie is a self-contained leak detection system. Each sensor contains its own solar panel, battery, cellular or WiFi connectivity, and the ability to take five methane measurements per second. Soofie also measures other gases, such as H2S, NO and NO2. More from Scientific Aviation.

The Alberta Energy Regulator has approved Qube Technologies' leak monitor for use in its Alternative Leak Detection and Repair pilot, to detect and repair climate-warming methane leaks from the oil and gas industry. The pilot is also backed by Enhance Energy and Highwood Emissions Management More from Qube.

Neptune Energy and the Environmental Defense Fund are to pilot a novel method of measuring offshore methane emissions. EDF will coordinate a team from Scientific Aviation (emissions sensing - see Soofie above) Texo DSI (drone platform) to evaluate advanced methods for quantifying facility-level offshore methane emissions, identify key sources and prioritize mitigation actions at Neptune’s North Sea Cygnus platform.


Chevron Technology Ventures has taken a stake in Baseload Capital, a Sweden-based private investment company focused on the development and operation of low-temperature geothermal and heat power assets. The Baseload investment follows last month’s announcement of funding for Eavor and expands Chevron’s capacity to gain insight into geothermal innovations such as low-temperature power generation and closed-loop geothermal technologies.

CGG has signed a strategic agreement to support dCarbonX in the subsurface assessment of its operated clean energy projects offshore Ireland and the UK (which include geothermal energy and storage sites for CO2, hydrogen and ammonia). dCarbonX applies integrated business, geoscientific and well engineering solutions to deliver sustainable ‘subsurface baseload assets’, such as green hydrogen storage, carbon sequestration capacity and geothermal energy. More from dCarbonX.


Equinor and SSE Thermal are planning ‘two first-of-a-kind’ (sic) hydrogen and carbon capture projects on the Humber estuary, UK. The project envisages one of the UK’s first power stations with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, and the world’s first 100% hydrogen-fueled power station. The Keadby 3 and Keadby Hydrogen plants near Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, would replace older, carbon-intensive electricity generation. Both projects are in the development stage. Final investment decisions ‘will depend on the progress of policy frameworks that are commensurate with the delivery of this critical net zero enabling infrastructure’. More from Equinor.

Technip Energies has announced ‘BlueH2 by T.EN’, a suite of ‘deeply-decarbonized and affordable’ solutions for hydrogen production. BlueH2 promises a 99% reduction in the carbon footprint compared to the traditional hydrogen process, maximum yield and minimum energy. Carbon avoidance and carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) techniques promise the ‘lowest cost’ (blue) hydrogen. More from Technip Energies.


DNV has published new procedures designed to provide the required safety level in transporting CO2 by pipelines and strengthen the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects. This follows the outcome of the CO2SafeArrest joint industry project (JIP) between Energy Pipelines CRC (Australia) and DNV. The work has been supported by the Norwegian funding body CLIMIT and the Australian Commonwealth Government under the Carbon Capture & Storage Research Development and Demonstration Fund. Download the updatedrecommended practice DNVGL-RP-F104.

An opinion piece from BlackRock, ‘ESG X Big Data: Solving for the Double Bottom Line’ has it that ESG ‘is an indicator of future performance potential and should be incorporated with data used to predict performance’. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) outcomes and future profitability are inextricably linked, and analytical innovation, including the use of big data and artificial intelligence, ‘can offer investors sophisticated insights into which companies are likely to outperform others in the long term’. Read the BlackRock blog here.

Microsoft claims a ‘sustainability’ element in its work with clients including BP. Microsoft is helping BP’s decarbonisation effort by helping it to become more efficient and reducing its methane emissions from existing oil and gas operations. Microsoft is also working to help BP ‘reimagine’ its offshore oil rigs and turn these into wind sites. Naturally, IoT, deep data, analytics and digital twins are ‘all part of this’. The work for BP is said to count towards Microsoft’s ‘moonshot’ (not moonshine) goals for sustainability. More from the Microsoft Technology Record.

MIT has just published ‘Fast Forward: MIT’s Climate Action Plan for the Decade’. The 17-page plan outlines MIT’s commitment to leadership in solving the climate crisis. This involves, ‘moving fast with science and technology, policy, markets, infrastructure, and levers for behavioral and cultural change, investment in new tools and their ‘wise and equitable’ deployment, and the education and empowerment of the next generation, who are to inherit the problem and who must ultimately solve it’.

Gaffney Cline’s Special Report ‘2021 and Energy Transition, The Outlook for Energy Portfolios and M&A’ is a 20-page analysis of corporate strategies that balance the potential risks and specific opportunities. Download the report here.

Natural Resources Canada, in partnership with Environment and Climate Change Canada, has launched the Open Science and Data Platform (OSDP) for cumulative effects, i.e. environmental changes that have long-lasting impacts on the environment and health. The OSDP leverages the Federal Geospatial Platform and its public-facing site, Open Maps. OSDP provides access to provincial and territorial data, historical time series data and maps, surveys, satellite observations and scientific models.

Hexagon has launched R-evolution, a new business venture ‘focused on a sustainable future’. R-evolution is to accelerate the transition to a sustainable economy, running profit-driven investments in green-tech projects where Hexagon’s technology can be applied. Hexagon President and CEO Ola Rollén said, ‘saving the planet is the biggest business opportunity of the 21st century’.

The International Energy Agency’s new report ‘Net Zero by 2050’ has it that ‘pathway to the critical and formidable goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 is narrow’. The report proposes that there are ‘no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects, and no further final investment decisions for new unabated coal plants. By 2035, there are no sales of new internal combustion engine passenger cars, and by 2040, the global electricity sector has already reached net-zero emissions.’

The Government of Canada has called upon Microsoft AI for Earth to support science and research with digital solutions for Natural Resources Canada’s sustainable development and climate action research. NRCan will collaborate with Microsoft Canada to share expertise and use cloud, data and artificial intelligence (AI) services to develop a platform for national and global scientific cooperation.

The UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has revised its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy, which now requires operators and licensees to ‘support the drive to achieve net zero while also maximizing economic recovery from the UK continental shelf’. From 2023, reporting on these factors will be mandatory. KPIs will include flaring and venting emissions, scope 1 & 2 emissions, HSSE statistics, fugitive methane emissions, air and water pollution risks, waste management and disposal and carbon intensity. An action plan on ‘how to support a low-income economy’ is expected to be included in the first reports.

CGG has launched SeaScope, a satellite-based pollution monitoring solution. SeaScope combines earth observation data, machine learning and high-performance computing, to provide sea surface slick intelligence across offshore assets, coastal facilities and vessels. The solution, developed with help from the European Space Agency and a group of energy companies and emergency response organizations, has undergone successful 12-month trials in the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and South-East Asia.

Munich-based Isar Digital Ventures has announced Renewables Digital an open-access renewable energy portal for investors, developers, startups and others in the renewable energy industry. The portal is to facilitate investment in green energy. For instance, developers that intend to sell a solar park will find more than a hundred relevant investors on the platform who recently purchased renewable assets. Startups and others can market themselves to third parties. Renewable Digital screens renewable energy deals and funding rounds on a weekly basis using ‘sophisticated crawler technologies’. To date, over 200 investors and developers are listed on the platform.

The Society of Exploration Geophysicists has produced an updated position statement on climate change, emphasizing ‘the essential roles geophysicists play in carbon sequestration, monitoring of large ice masses, exploration for minerals used in wind and solar energy systems, geothermal energy exploration, and water-resources management’. SEG affirms the position of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that has concluded that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are extremely likely to be the dominant cause of observed climate warming since 1950.

Cheniere and Shell have delivered a cargo of ‘carbon-neutral’ US LNG to Europe from the Sabine Pass export terminal. Neutrality was achieved by offsetting the ‘full lifecycle’ (i.e. through to scope 3) greenhouse gas emissions associated with the cargo by ‘retiring nature-based offsets’. These were purchased from Shell’s global portfolio of nature-based projects. Nature-based projects ‘protect, transform or restore land and enable nature to add oxygen and absorb more CO2 emissions from the atmosphere’. Sounds like sinners buying indulgences from the pope.

Venture Global LNG has likewise announced plans to capture and sequester carbon at its Calcasieu Pass and Plaquemines LNG facilities. The company is launching, subject only to regulatory approvals, a ‘shovel-ready’ carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) project, compressing CO2 at its sites and then transporting the CO2 and injecting it into subsurface saline aquifers where it will be permanently stored. Venture plans to sequester 1 million tons of carbon per year.

Total and Siemens Energy have signed a technical collaboration agreement to study sustainable solutions for CO2 emissions reduction. The collaboration will focus on natural gas liquefaction facilities and associated power generation. The JV will deliver industrial-stage solutions such as combustion of clean hydrogen in gas turbines, competitive all-electrical liquefaction, optimized power generation, the integration of renewable energy in liquefaction plants’ power system and their efficiency enhancement.

The HOT Energy Group, RED Drilling & Services and Chemieanlagenbau Chemnitz (CAC) have launched the Underground Energy Storage Technologies (UEST) centre of excellence. UEST delivers comprehensive storage solutions for natural gas, carbon dioxide and hydrogen, prospect assessment and operational planning, drilling, workover and well engineering solutions, through to surface facilities. More from UEST.

On the other hand …

A short position piece from Boston-based IDTechEx regrets the closure of the Petra Nova facility in Texas, the world’s largest CCUS facility for a coal-fired power station. IDTechEx reports that Petra Nova needed oil prices of around $75 a barrel to break even. During its three-and-a-half-year lifespan, Petra Nova faced commercial viability issues and unexpected shutdowns. Global carbon capture capacity currently stands at about 40 megatonnes per year, less than 0.1% of the 30.6 gigatonnes of CO2 that are believed to have been emitted in 2020. Despite the US 45Q tax credit, ‘the reality is that CCUS remains an expensive technology’. ‘The next few years could be turbulent for the CCUS industry. However, it may be too important for the world to let it fail.’ More on the report here.

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