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Oxy Becomes First U.S. Driller To Announce Net-Zero Plan

Occidental Petroleum has become the first U.S. oil company to announce a plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050.

In a five-minute video, Oxy cited its expertise in enhanced oil recovery, which features carbon dioxide injection into oil wells, as well as experience with carbon capture technology, which, according to the company, position it at the forefront of emission-cutting efforts.

One of the biggest users of carbon dioxide, Occidental said it currently stores some 20 million tons of CO2 underground in the Permian every year. This amount, the company said, offsets the emissions from more than 4 million cars.

Using is expertise in CO2 capturing and use, by 2040, the company will strive to reduce emissions from its own operations to a net-zero and extend this to the use of its products by customers by 2050, chief executive Vicki Hollub said during a conference call yesterday, as quoted by Bloomberg.

Earlier this year, Occidental became the first U.S. company to endorse the World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative, signaling it was part of efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

U.S. oil companies have been reluctant, to put it mildly, to let go of their traditional business model that focuses on the extraction of crude oil and natural gas. Unlike their European peers, U.S. energy producers have stuck to their core business when the Europeans rushed to announce urgent plans to decarbonize their operations by shifting from their core business to renewable energy and related activities.

Oxy’s plan seems to be particularly impressive for analysts, as it features plans to reduce all emission scopes as classified by regulators and environmentalists. Scope 1 emissions refer to those from a company’s own operations. Scope 2 emissions come from utilities that supply power to the company, and Scope 3 emissions come from consumers using the company’s products.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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