Force Flow Scales

U.S. oil company buys B.C.-based direct air capture firm Carbon Engineering for $1.5B

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Stratos
Carbon Engineering Process Engineer, Alex Goulet, provides a walkthrough presentation in Texas of the 3D model for Stratos, soon to be the world’s largest direct air capture technology plant. Photo Credit: Carbon Engineering

A major U.S. petroleum company has bought British Columbia-based direct air capture technology company Carbon Engineering for $1.5 billion (CDN).

Acquired through Occidental subsidiary, 1PointFive, the two companies have worked together since 2019 on large-scale and cost-effective global carbon removal solutions. Viewed as a climate solution, the direct air capture technology, or DAC, uses a mechanical system that pulls carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere so that it can be permanently stored deep underground or used to produce clean and affordable transportation fuels.

On its website, Carbon Engineering describes its technology as similar to “what plants and trees do every day as they photosynthesize,” pulling in atmospheric air, then through a series of chemical reactions, extracting the carbon dioxide.

“Carbon Engineering and Occidental have been working increasingly close together for the past five years to address the CO2 problem, making Occidental a trusted and committed partner for this next chapter in Carbon Engineering’s journey,” announced Carbon Engineering CEO Daniel Friedmann in a statement. 

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Leaders at Occidental, branded as Oxy, said in a statement that Carbon Engineering’s research and development activities and Innovation Center will remain in Squamish, B.C., where the company has some 150 employees. 

1PointFive is making headlines as it builds the world’s largest direct air capture technology plant, known as Stratos, which is expected to be commercially operational in Texas by mid-2025. Once operational, the facility is expected to capture 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, with the capability to scale up.

The two companies are also working on a project in the South Texas DAC Hub that was selected to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations.

“Together, Occidental and Carbon Engineering can accelerate plans to globally deploy DAC technology at a climate-relevant scale and make DAC the preferred solution for businesses seeking to remove their hard-to-abate emissions,” said Occidental President and CEO Vicki Hollub in a statement.

1PointFive has stated it believes it can deploy 70 direct air capture facilities worldwide by 2035.

Following successful regulatory approvals, Carbon Engineering would become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oxy Low Carbon Ventures. 

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