A system that can remove carbon dioxide directly from ambient air has won the backing of two major US oil and gas companies, marking what the technology’s developer calls “the first significant collaboration” between a direct air capture (DAC) developer and the energy industry.

Canada-based Carbon Engineering is getting equity backing from subsidiaries of Occidental Petroleum and Chevron to help accelerate commercialisation of the DAC technology.

The company says this removes environmentally harmful CO2 from the atmosphere and makes it available for enhanced oil recovery, underground storage or industrial use.