Today’s Key Takeaways: Amazon invests in Direct Air Capture. “Transformative leap to control carbon emissions”. Enstar wants an in-state gas pipeline. Largest lithium resource on earth inside a volcano. No commitment to reduce fossil fuels at G-20 summit.
NEWS OF THE DAY:
Amazon Buys Carbon Credits In Its First Investment In Direct Air Capture
Tsvetana Paraskova, OilPrice.Com, September 12, 2023
Amazon is joining the group of companies supporting direct air capture (DAC) technology by announcing it would buy carbon removal credits from 1PointFive, which is developing the world’s largest DAC plant in the United States.
Amazon has committed to purchase 250,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide removal credits over 10 years from STRATOS, 1PointFive’s first commercial-scale DAC plant, the e-commerce giant said on Tuesday.
The plant is currently under development in Texas, with startup expected in mid-2025, 1PointFive, a subsidiary of U.S. oil and gas giant Occidental, said in April, when it held the groundbreaking ceremony for the facility.
Oil Companies And US Government Are Beginning A Transformative Leap To Control Carbon Emissions
Ian Palmer, Forbes, September 12, 2023
Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR).
An insightful study of EOR has been made by Bryan Guzman, Director of Global Business Development & Technology, Premier Corex. It provides an important background to what is coming — a transformative change for carbon emissions.
In the 1970s and early 1980s, ChevronCVX +2% led an EOR project in the Permian basin. CO2 came from natural gas processing plants and transported over 200 miles to injector. The original 45Q tax deduction for EOR was $10 per metric ton but was raised on a trend that would reach $35 per ton by 2026. By 2022 The IRA bill raised the tax credit to $60 per metric ton.
From 1989 to 2016 the CCS Technologies Program at MIT reviewed CCS from a technical, economic, and political perspective. An industrial consortium was formed in 2000 and peaked at 19 members both heavyweights and lightweights from the US and International.
In 2003 the DOE set up within the US seven regional carbon sequestration partnerships called RCSPs. Their charter was to implement technology, infrastructure, and regulations to promote carbon storage. In the southeast region, called SECARB, I was involved with modeling injection of CO2 into coal seams, which are unique because coal swells significantly as CO2 is absorbed, and its permeability falls which makes it harder to continue injection.
Amid natural gas crunch, an Alaska utility asks to resurrect in-state gas pipeline
Nathaniel Herz, Northern Journal, September 11, 2023
Enstar wants to take over the project last estimated to cost $10 billion, but its own chief executive acknowledges that the pipeline isn’t viable without multibillion-dollar subsidies from the state.
For the past several years, Alaska’s elected leaders have largely set aside a proposed natural gas pipeline that would connect the state’s huge North Slope oil fields solely with urban homeowners and electric utilities, dismissing the idea as too expensive.
Instead, they’ve prioritized a much larger project that would export liquefied natural gas, or LNG, to Asia. That proposal, known as Alaska LNG, would also supply consumers inside the state, with the Asian customers helping to subsidize its cost.
Now, the for-profit utility that sells natural gas in Anchorage and the surrounding area is pushing to resurrect the version of the project that’s only for in-state use. It says the project could be a solution to the state’s impending natural gas supply shortfall — even as its own top executive acknowledges that the pipeline requires a long-shot, multibillion-dollar state subsidy.
Enstar Natural Gas, which serves some 60% of the state’s population, recently asked for permission to take over the proposal from the Alaska government agency that currently owns it, according to a copy of Enstar’s request reviewed by Northern Journal.
The request comes at a sensitive time both because of the supply shortage and also because the state agency, the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., is currently prioritizing the export-focused Alaska LNG project.
Alaska LNG has support from Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy, Alaska’s congressional delegation and even key members of the Biden administration. But the project, with a price tag estimated at $43 billion, is reportedly facing skepticism from Asian buyers.
Enstar, in its recent request, said that it should be allowed to pursue the smaller scale project in case Alaska LNG fails.
In public opinion polling, Enstar said, Alaskans strongly prefer a pipeline to another leading alternative to address the looming shortfall: importing LNG from outside the state.
Urban Alaska’s gas currently comes from Cook Inlet, the aging basin offshore of Anchorage. But available supplies are running low.
Ancient volcano in US may hold largest lithium resource on Earth
Jackson Chen, Mining.Com, September 12, 2023
A group of US geologists may have found what they believe to be the world’s largest lithium reservoir inside an ancient supervolcano sitting along the Nevada-Oregon border.
A new study published in the journal Science Advances estimates that the McDermitt Caldera, a large volcanic crater measuring approximately 45 km long and 35 km wide in southeastern Oregon and northern Nevada, hosts claystones containing 20 to 40 million metric tons of lithium.
The high end of the estimated resource easily dwarves the amount of lithium held in Bolivia’s salt flats, which have long held the record for the most lithium resource with some 23 million metric tons.
Even if this estimation is high due to variations in sediment thickness and/or lithium grade, the lithium inventory contained in McDermitt Caldera sediments would still be on par with, if not considerably larger than, the 10.2 million tonnes estimated to be contained in brines beneath the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, previously considered the largest lithium deposit on Earth, the study stated.
According to the study, the McDermitt Caldera, particularly in its southern portion in Nevada in an area called Thacker Pass, contain extremely high lithium grades (up to ~1 weight %), more than double the known claystone lithium resources globally.
G-20 SUMMITS RESULTS IN LITTLE AGREEMENT: The G-20 summit in New Delhi yielded little on setting major climate goals, with leaders having disagreements on commitments to reduce fossil fuel use, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing renewable energy targets.
One major hurdle was a proposal by Western countries to reduce GHG levels by 60% by 2035, which was opposed by Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and India during meetings, as reported by Reuters.
What they did agree on: The G-20 leaders did agree broadly to pursue tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030 and accepted the need to reduce unabated coal power, however.
What their agreement left out: The declaration that was adopted by the G-20 did not mention cutting GHG emissions. Furthermore, while the countries agreed that “national circumstances” will be considered in the reduced use of “unabated coal power,” these conversations did not mention the decreased use of crude oil – hinting that oil-abundant countries like Saudi Arabia prevailed during the negotiations.
The group also did not reach agreement during previous ministerial meetings on environment and energy, and the declaration does not commit to reaching net zero commitments faster than 2050, a goal G-7 nations were pushing for.
Why this matters: What came out of the G-20 summit is likely to lay the groundwork of the upcoming COP28 U.N. climate summit in the United Arab Emirates later this year.
From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy