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The race for landmark CCS project: North Dakota approves Class VI well for Red Trail Energy10/27/21
Thanks to the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) blessings, Red Trail Energy LLC (RTE) is now able to commercially capture, compress, and inject 180,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year into the Broom Creek Formation on its property for permanent geologic CO2 storage.
Watchdog work at Flickertail State on geologic sequestration of CO2 is unrivaled in the country. As of 2018, North Dakota was the first state to receive primacy for Class VI wells from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), followed by Wyoming only in 2020.
And now a breakthrough was achieved: RTE may geologically store CO2 at its ethanol facility near Richardton after approval from the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) on October 19. In addition to deciding the financial obligations, the orders confirm the creation of the required pore space for the reservoir storage required to operate the facility.
RTE's initial construction was as a coal-fired ethanol plant, but in 2016 it was converted to natural gas. On an annual basis, RTE produces 59-64 million gallons of ethanol using 21-23 million bushels of corn. The resulting fermentation process at RTE releases approximately 180,000 metric tons of high-purity CO2 every year during ethanol production. Accordingly, RTE has received approval to commercially capture (dehydrate and compress) and inject 185,000 metric tonnes of CO2 into the Broom Creek Formation on its property for permanent geologic CO2 storage.
A project developed by Red Trail in conjunction with the Energy & Environmental Research Center ensures that carbon dioxide can be stored safely for generations to come. In response to such a policy, the company's innovative and rigorous approach was commended by the watchdog for setting the standard for future carbon capture applications.
The EPA classifies wells into various categories. Geologic sequestration refers to injecting CO2 deep into rock formations for long-term storage - Class VI well is used to do this. The goal of geologic carbon sequestration is to reduce or eliminate the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by storing the gas in deep geologic formations.
It is possible to capture carbon dioxide from stationary sources such as power plants and other large industrial facilities, compress it, and inject it into porous, permeable geologic layers, where it will remain relatively isolated. A layer of impermeable rock must be deposited over the geologic formation where the CO2 is stored to keep it in.
The state's geological resources were first evaluated 18 years ago, and North Dakota policymakers developed the legal and regulatory framework for geological storage 12 years ago. As North Dakota continues to develop its abundant geological resources, the approval of the RTE permits represents a major milestone.
Additionally to the permits, RTE received a $25 million loan from the USDA under the Rural Energy for American Program in September 2021 for its carbon capture and storage project (CCS). Simultaneously, a $500,000 matching grant from the NDIC was awarded to the Energy and Environment Research Center for the development of the RTE CCS project back in June.
The Hunting Season Is Not Over Yet: Exxon Mobil makes a $400 million commitment to Wyoming's carbon capture
Carbon footprint reduction is a new hot trend: Exxon Mobil makes a $400 million investment into its LaBarge facility to expand its carbon capture and storage capabilities by another million metric tons of CO2. Operational activities could begin as early as 2025 after a final investment decision is made in 2022. At present, about 20% of all CO2 captured worldwide each year is captured at the LaBarge. However, as one of the largest of the world's Big Oil companies, it is not the only project in Exxon's pipeline: aside from CCS capabilities, the LaBarge is one of the world's largest sources of helium, producing approximately 20% of global supply
Exxon Mobil Corp. is weighing prospects of selling its assets in North Dakota’s Bakken, after gauging interest from potential buyers — 5 billion is the issue price, at least according to rumors. The price point came about after the news that the oilgiant is in the final round of hiring bankers to help launch the sale. Yet Exxon Mobil itself stays tight-lipped regarding the situation.
Shareholder’s payout target was increased by 50% after the largest U.S. independent oil producer surpassed Wall Street’s earnings estimates on growing energy prices, said Houston-based Conoco Phillips Co. on Aug. 4. Due to Western sanctions on major producer Russia throttling energy supply amid a rebound in demand from pandemic lows, oil and gas #prices have soared. Crude has been trading more than 25% higher since the start of the year and results also benefited from high natural gas prices. Meanwhile, shares were down a fraction, to $91.03, in early trading but are up about 26% year to date. Conoco Phillips stated, that the average price obtained for a barrel of oil and gas accelerated 77% from a year earlier to $88.57. The company acknowledges that it has not hedged any of its oil and gas sales to make the most of higher market prices. The capacity of 1.69 million boe/d was in line with Wall Street estimates, however, the company expected the current quarter’s output would be between 1.71 million and 1.76 million boe/d.
California oil joint venture, Aera Energy, of Exxon Mobil Corp. and ShellPlc is being sold to German asset manager IKAV, according to the agreement of Sept. 1. Shell noted that the sale of its 51.8% membership interest in Aera Energy is for a total consideration of about $2 billion in cash with additional contingent payments based on future oil prices, subject to regulatory approval. However, the total transaction value was not disclosed. Being one of California’s largest oil and gas producers, Aera Energy accounts for nearly 25% of the state’s production. The sale by Exxon Mobil and Shell ends a 25-year-long partnership in California, meanwhile, it persists a streak of divestments of mature oil and gas properties by the two supermajors. Aera Energy LLC operates about 13,000 wells in the San Joaquin Valley in California, producing oil and associated gas. In 2021, Aera took out about 95,000 boe/d. Exxon Mobil’s interests in the Aera oil-production operation in California contained a 48.2% share of Aera Energy LLC and a 50% share of Aera Energy Services Co. held by Mobil California Exploration & Producing Co. Moreover, Exxon Mobil affiliates have signed a separate agreement for the sale of an associated loading facility and pipeline system. The sale effectively ends Shell’s upstream position in California. The company reported that the divestiture is valued to result in a post-tax impairment of $300 million to $400 million, subject to adjustments.
The completion of the merger between Centennial Resource Development Inc. and Colgate Energy Partners II LLC happened on Sept. 1, sealing the debut of Permian Resources Corp., which is considered the largest pure-play E&P company in the Delaware Basin. Permian Resources’ idea was to combine two successful E&P companies, creating a better, stronger, and more strategically compelling company. Centennial and Colgate announced an agreement to merge in May, denying rumors that Colgate, a privately held independent Midland-based company, had been seeking an IPO. The merger estimated Colgate at about $3.9 billion and consists of 269.3 million shares of Centennial stock, $525 million of cash, and the assumption of approximately $1.4 billion of Colgate’s outstanding net debt. Permian Resources, being the combined company, has a deep inventory of “high-quality” drilling locations on around 180,000 net acres the companies anticipate will provide more than $1 billion of free cash flow in 2023 at current strip prices, in accordance with the company release on Sept. 1.