Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) companies Gulf Coast Sequestration and Climeworks have signed an agreement to develop a direct air capture (DAC) project in Louisiana, US, aiming to capture 1 million tonnes per annum of carbon dioxide by 2030.

The project would plan to expand its capacity to several million tpa in the future.

Louisiana-based Gulf Coast Sequestration, which focuses on pore space for permanent geologic storage of carbon dioxide, will use Climeworks’ DAC technology to capture and store the CO2 underground. Some environmentalists praise the technology as a potentially carbon negative process since it pulls carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere, rather than an emitting source.

“Carbon capture and sequestration is a key component of today’s energy transition, offering an immediate pathway to rapid decarbonisation,” said Gray Stream, president of the Stream Companies, owner of Gulf Coast Sequestration.

“Direct air capture presents the inspiring possibility of reaching net-zero or even negative carbon emissions. Together, GCS and Climeworks are uniquely positioned to bring this promise to reality in the Gulf Coast’s industrial corridor.”

Louisiana is becoming a hot spot for developing carbon capture projects, centring on wide availability of pore space and high emissions in the region. ExxonMobil, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures and Denbury resources are all exploring carbon capture opportunities in Louisiana, while Chevron and Talos are developing CCS projects along the Gulf Coast.

“Louisiana is rapidly emerging as a leader in the global energy transition and carbon capture and sequestration is a crucial part of our plan to get to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.

“This significant agreement between a pioneering Louisiana company and a global leader in direct air capture technology is another step forward in diversifying and growing our economy.”

While many oil and gas companies are getting involved with CCS, DAC specifically presents a unique opportunity for furthering emissions reductions beyond energy operations. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), only 18 DAC projects around the world capture about 10,000 tpa of CO2.

Of those projects, only two store carbon dioxide permanently underground, while the others use it for food and other purposes. To reach the IEA net zero scenario, DAC would need to capture 60 million tpa of CO2.

1PointFive, a subsidiary of Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, is working on a 1 million tpa CCS project in the Permian basin, which will help toward this goal, but upstream companies with expertise in pore space management can help push forward the sector and move DAC toward geologic sequestration.

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