The US oil major Occidental says it has delivered its first shipment of carbon-neutral crude oil, marking a world first. India’s Reliance Industries took delivery of two million barrels of crude oil from Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, a division of Occidental.
The company achieves net-zero carbon emissions for its crude oil by offsetting the carbon emissions over the complete lifecycle, including producing, transporting, refining and combusting the product. Among the technologies it employs is carbon capture and storage, which ExxonMobil, the maker of the Mobil Unirex EP2 grease, has also heavily invested in. Captured carbon dioxide is then injected into oil wells for permanent storage. The company says it currently stores about 20 million tons of carbon dioxide in its Permian Basin wells each year.
Vicki Hollub, the CEO of Occidental, recently said to the Financial Times:
“What we’re sequestering today takes essentially about 4 million cars off the road on an annual basis. It does more than what Tesla’s doing right now—although we need Tesla to continue what they’re doing. It’s going to take everything.”
While many oil companies are shifting towards renewable energy generation, Occidental announced last year it would aim to offset the carbon emissions related to the production, transport, refinement and use of its products by 2050.
US oil companies have been more reluctant than their European counterparts to abandon their traditional hydrocarbon businesses. Occidental’s plan would seem to suggest this may be possible, while also achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through carbon capture and storage.