Economist Article - BRK/OXY

"The (Berkshire) buying spree has made Oxy the highest climber this year in the s&p 500, one of America’s stockmarket benchmarks. It has also fuelled speculation that it is the prelude to a takeover.

Whether it has grander designs or not, it will come as no surprise that a firm like Berkshire, whose energy subsidiary includes coal-fired power plants and whose freight trains run on diesel, is keen to invest in oil. Though it also has huge wind and solar capacity, its nonagenarian executives are proudly old school. As for their faith in Ms Hollub, a cynic might say her greatest appeal is the value destruction she unleashed when Oxy bought Anadarko, a rival, for $55bn in 2019. The aftermath of that ill-timed deal, shortly before the pandemic, caused the debt-ridden firm to underperform its American peers-at least until oil markets rebounded this year. Mr Buffett likes nothing better than a cheap old-economy stock, especially one belching cash.

That’s one way of looking at it. Another is that Mr Buffett, who supported Ms Hollub’s bid for Anadarko by providing $10bn of high-yielding investment, has come to appreciate her idiosyncratic approach to America’s oil business. For what it’s worth, Schumpeter, who first met Ms Hollub six years ago, has long considered her a cut above the average American oil-industry boss. An engineer by training, back then she went into detail explaining how Oxy increased the yield of old oil wells by pumping in carbon dioxide to dislodge the residual crude, which she said lowered the costs, as well as the carbon footprint, of each barrel. Today, she doubles down on that, saying that Oxy is on the verge of building a carbon-management business that could reach the size of its oiland-gas one by 2050-which she says could make it the “last company standing” in America’s oil industry. As she puts it: “Oxy is what an oil and gas company of the future has to look like.”"

https://www.economist.com/business/2022/08/25/could-the-demo…

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“Today, she [Occidental CEO Vicki Hollub] doubles down on that, saying that Oxy is on the verge of building a carbon-management business that could reach the size of its oil and-gas one by 2050”

I think she said that it could reach the size of Occidental’s chemical business, which is about 22% of Occidental’s total revenue, but no matter. My question is how much value Buffett is placing on OXY’s carbon management business. The primary value of any oil and gas company lies in its proven reserves, with some value coming from operations. As of today OXY has no revenues from carbon capture. Expected carbon capture revenues are based primarily on selling government credits, which is probably not a bad business model. Occidental’s partner Carbon Engineering’s planned plant would not be viable without the $50/ton of CO2 credit from the Federal government and the $200/ton credit from the state of California. I am not saying that Ms. Hollub’s forecast for OXY’s revenues from their carbon management business in 2050 are wrong; I’m just wondering how much value Buffett is placing on those revenues and profits.

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” The primary value of any oil and gas company lies in its proven reserves…”

Carbon capture will likely increase OXY’s proven oil and reserves. The reserve increase from DAC could be significant.

Reserves are defined as economically producible barrels. In OXY’s current CO2 EOR business the cost of sourcing and transporting naturally occurring CO2 from distant underground sources is approximately 40% of their operating cost. Having an essentially limitless and “free” (perhaps even negative cost?) source of direct-capture CO2 would drastically improve EOR economics, thereby reducing the economic limit (production rate at which a well, or field became uneconomic). A lower CO2 operating cost would allow OXY to expand into new areas where CO2 EOR could be implemented.

A lower economic limit allows OXY’s CO2 EOR wells/fields to produce longer economically, ultimately recovering more barrels of oil. Recovering more barrels means increased proven reserves.

OXY management have suggested that barrels of oil produced as a result of injecting direct capture CO2 would sell at a premium to WTI. A higher “low net carbon oil” price would further improve economics and increase proven reserves.

Hollub stated in the recent conference call Q&A that they chose a JV agreement across their extensive Midland Basin acreage as opposed to selling the acreage outright because the company believed the area has significant future CO2 EOR upside. This upside is not currently accounted for on OXY’s reserve books.

I suspect Warren and Charlie understand all this as intimated in the Economist article.

Have no idea whether it enters into their valuation of OXY.

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Having an essentially limitless and “free” (perhaps even negative cost?) source of direct-capture CO2 would drastically improve EOR economics, thereby reducing the economic limit (production rate at which a well, or field became uneconomic). A lower CO2 operating cost would allow OXY to expand into new areas where CO2 EOR could be implemented.

The cost of direct-capture CO2 has been estimated by the company doing the demonstration to be somewhere between $100 to $300 a ton based on pilot plant data and engineering estimates at a commercial scale. I doubt they were conservative. Prior estimates were up to $600 ton some years earlier. So there’s nothing “free” about direct-capture C02. This is far higher than they’re paying now for CO2 produced from natural deposits. The only question is who is going to pay for that cost of direct-capture CO2. It isn’t up to the rest of us to provide OXY with “free” CO2. Or any other O&G company for that matter.

Whoever does - be it OXY or government incentives - this is going to be very expensive oil without major technology breakthroughs. To claim it NOW as an incentive for buying OXY is disingenuous.

Use some common sense people. The lower the concentration of CO2 in a stream, the more expensive it’s going to be to remove and recover it. Right now the most concentrated streams are from hydrogen manufacture from natural gas ranging from 65 to 90%. Ethanol also produces high concentration CO2. Recovered CO1 costs are estimated around $50-60 a ton based on NPC estimates as of 2019. These are high concentration streams - not the parts per million present in air.

Also recall that recovering and reusing CO2 from non-anthropogenic sources does nothing to combat global warming. It has to be removed from sources generating CO2 from fossil fuels to have any impact.

Refineries, natural gas and coal electricity, cement plants, steel manufacture, etc. CCS costs are all well over $100 a ton ranging up to $300 a ton based on size and other factors. There are numerous regulatory and political issues to be worked to make these possible - as well as technical advances to lower costs. These are all covered in the recently released report by the National Petroleum Council available via Google.

It is true that recovering more oil from anthropogenic sources can generate more oil. And, in the first one to two decades, that can sequester more CO2 than that generated by the oil. But this changes over time. That timing can be important in meeting 2050 goals. But the source of the C02 is all important.

As for the OXY CEO’s engineering background contributing to this as a new idea, she was 12 years old when the first C02 EOR process was tried in the Permian in 1972. I don’t know of any O&G companies that don’t have good engineers, and they’ve been at it for a long time in the Permian.

Right now I admire Hollub more for her promotional skills than her engineering skills. She got very, very lucky when pandemic vaccines bailed her out from her bet on acquiring Anadarko. OXY could easily have gone bankrupt with their debt load had the pandemic persisted to destroy demand. Look at China demand today. Buffett wasn’t hanging on to the stock back then.

I very much hope, and believe, that Buffett and Munger are basing their reasons for buying OXY on the existing O&G outlook - not on a highly uncertain future for cheap oil from CO2.

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TexIrish: “The only question is who is going to pay for that cost of direct-capture CO2…”

Vicki Hollub and OXY’s management claim to know who is going to pay for it.

OXY’s presentation materials provide some detail on how they envision this all to work:

Documents and videos from OXY’s Low Carbon Ventures March 2022 investor update:
https://www.oxy.com/investors/stockholder-resources/lcv-inve…

Slide 36:Net-Zero Oil: A closed-loop system for energy production

  • Net-Zero Oil pairs Direct Air Capture with existing CO2-EOR infrastructure and production. Through this closed loop system, we can proactively capture and permanently sequester the lifecycle emissions for a barrel of oil to create a net-zero product.

  • Net-Zero Oil can play an important role in the energy transition by significantly reducing the emissions associated with an existing product. While zero-emission energy, fleet electrification and other solutions progress — Net- Zero Oil is a near-term product that limits growth in atmospheric CO2 while providing a fuel that fits with current infrastructure, logistics and transportation systems globally.

Slide 37 - DAC, Net-Zero Oil and the EOR business

  • Current CO2 related costs: processing & injectant = 40% of the total cost per barrel

  • DAC CO2 as a feedstock can significantly reduce CO2 price for EOR

  • With significant production today and an attractive low-oil price breakeven the growth potential for EOR to Net- Zero Oil can be meaningful for Oxy’s future. A lower cost CO2 sourced from the atmosphere enables new value from our existing assets.

Slide 38 - Roadmap to Commercial Development

  • We want to summarize how we think about revenue support and costs for CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilization Storage) as we look to build low-cost, low-carbon, commercial product supply.

  • Revenue support will come from two categories. First the voluntary and compliance market which represents business customers seeking to decarbonize their operations or fuels either due to direct business value or from regulatory compliance systems.

  • Early voluntary participants are stepping up and we greatly appreciate their partnership. We share a joint recognition of CCUS as a near-term and large-scale solution that is needed for global net-zero.

  • This support comes from early adopters like Airbus, United, SK, Shopify and ThermoFisher. Examples of compliance markets includes State Low Carbon Fuel Standard credits, and CORSIA.

  • The second support category is policy. This captures global policy incentives to catalyze CCUS while we bring costs down and the voluntary and compliance markets grow. Today, those include notable support mechanisms like the US Federal 45Q tax credits and recently passed US Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. (and now the "Inflation Reduction Act"https://www.eenews.net/articles/oil-companies-see-net-positi…)

TexIrish: “Right now I admire Hollub more for her promotional skills than her engineering skills.”

Guess it doesn’t matter what you think of her. Buffett/Munger fell for her “promotional skills”, loaning her $10 Billion after a two hour meeting in 2019. Then proceeded to buy up 20% of the outstanding common in less than six months.

Buffett at the 2022 AM:"So, when somebody asks a very good question, this, “Why weren’t you doing anything on February 20th, and why were you doing it on — starting, well, in the case of Occidental, on February 28th?” — you know, it’s because things developed in a way —

And in the case of Occidental specifically, they’d had an analyst presentation of some — I don’t know whether it was a quarterly one or what it was exactly — but I read it over a weekend — and that was the weekend when the annual report came out — I read it over a weekend.

And what [CEO] Vicki Hollub was saying made nothing but sense. And I decided that it was a good place to put Berkshire’s money.

And then I found out in the ensuing two weeks — it was there in black and white — there was nothing mysterious about it — but Vicki was saying what the company had gone through and where it was now and what they planned to do with the money.

And she’ll do what she says, she doesn’t know the price of oil next year. Nobody does."

https://buffett.cnbc.com/video/2022/05/02/morning-session—…

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I am highly skeptical of the merits of direct air capture. The technology is unprofitable without government subsidies, either now or in the foreseeable future. The government subsidies will likely continue for many years, so one one can base a business on subsidies, but it’s not like basing a business on a profitable product. The government could reduce atmospheric CO2 less expensively by a number of other means, such as increasing the tax on gasoline, but giving subsidies to companies involved in direct air capture is less visible to the public than gas taxes, even though the money for direct air capture subsidies comes from income taxes.

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First let me thank BreckHutHigh for the link to OXY’s presentation on CCUS. I’ve spent several hours with it today, and found a treasure trove of important specifics. It has helped me judge if I’ve missed anything of major importance concerning this subject. That’s appreciated.

I break some of these out below. There’s a lot of numbers. So focus on what OXY estimates the market will pay with what the supply will cost.

Point for the foregoing is pretty clear. You had better be the lowest cost guy to provide CCUS in a competitive market. It becomes a commodity.


Slide 22 describes the market environment OXY is seeking. It’s basically the same one all companies interested in CCUS are seeking.

In a current support scenario, we see market and policy conditions are supportive of 1PointFive building 70 Direct Air Capture facilities by 2035. This is dynamic and only represents the business environment we have today.

I would like to note five key qualifying criteria in this development scenario. The host nation must have supportive public policy and incentives for removals in place today or in the near-term. There must be growing demand from customers for our products. We must see scalable attributes such as suitable geologic storage and zero-emissions power supply. There needs to be a mature supply chain in place to enable construction and operations.

We also need an environment that supports high-integrity and transparent operations. Given these criteria, the United States is the most advantaged location for scalable and repeatable Direct Air Capture development today. However, we expect countries around the world to help de-risk this scalable model over the next decade with growing appreciation and support currently happenings.

What is really helpful is that they provide some data on their market conditions and economics.

Slide 25 gives their cost assumptions for their Direct Air Capture for the upcoming but indefinite period. The initial cost in $/ton of CO2 with the 500 kt/yr throughput is $425-$300 per ton. They anticipate five process improvements over time, each of about $50 per ton reaching a cost target of $175-$125 a ton for the Nth DAC plant. Time scale not shown. Anticipate DAC-1 startup late 2024. Then the results will determine if this technology is economic. They certainly aren’t anticipating zero costs.

Slide 29 shows their estimates for capture and underground storage market for the Gulf Coast. It starts at 5 MTPA CO2 at $50 a ton, increases to 10 MTPA at $50-60/ton, grows to 20 MTPA at $60-70/ton, and 40+ MTPA at $70+. (MTPA = Million Tons Per Annum). So doesn’t appear to be a market for DAC without significant subsidies above the market prices. This will be more of a Point Source related business opportunity.

Slide 34 shows a graph of anticipated carbon reductions in aviation from 2022 to 2050. Improvements by airlines in technology and efficiencies account for 24% over time. Use of sustainable and low carbon aviation fuels start at 4% and grow to 26%. Purchase of carbon offsets start at 72% and decline to 50% over the decades. Total market is minor today but grows to circa 1400 Million Tons per year CO2 by 2050. Carbon offset sales will be key for OXY followed by synthesis of aviation fuels from CO2 and H2 if this proves economically viable.

Slide 38 is a neat slide giving their overview of how the CCUS markets will evolve going forward. It is expressed in $ per ton CO2 for (a) what the markets will pay and (b) the costs to supply those markets. It is divided into three time periods: 2022-24, 2025-30, and 2030+. They also separate the Direct Air Capture business from the Point Source (i.e. the emitter sources) business. Sequestration is included in all cases

For DAC, 2022-24 markets are estimated at $250/ton for current markets, and as high as $450/ton if the nation adopts a Net Zero program to combat global warming. For current conditions, only a small part is policy driven – i.e. subsidies. Most is voluntary compliance. Under a NZ scenario, most of the added growth is policy driven – i.e. greater incentives. Costs are $300-450 a ton. Costs are at or above market prices.

For 2025-30, market prices remain in the same $250-450/ton range, but voluntary compliances grow as subsidies are reduced. Costs are $250-350 a ton under the “current” scenario reducing to $200-250 under a NZ push due to higher demands.

Post 2030, the market is assumed to have matured at the $125-175 range, all voluntary. Costs are under $150 a ton. (This is all easier to see on the slide.)

For Point Source, 2022-24 markets pay $50 a ton, growing to $100 a ton under a NZ commitment. Basically all policy driven. Costs are $50-$150 ton depending upon the type source being treated – i.e. how concentrated source already is in CO2. For 2025-30, markets pay $100-150 a ton, mostly voluntary compliance. Costs are $35-100/ton, presumably driven by technology improvements and higher scale demand. Post 2030, markets pay $50-100/ton and costs are $25 (low cost operator) to $100 a ton.


In my opinion, these are all aggressive scenarios. Spreads between market prices and costs are narrow to negative in early years. And they’re not exciting at maturity. Voluntary compliances are assumed to be a major factor – i.e., companies will be willing to pay a premium to combat global warming. Sales of carbon offsets will be an important factor.

I see no competitive advantages for OXY in the Point Sources market segments. They have ample storage opportunities in their existing and declining oil fields but these are primarily in the Permian Basin and far from the major Point Source generation locations so transportation becomes an issue. Otherwise, they will be competing with the super-majors and other large independents for this business – and usually with smaller resources.

So, in my view, their future in CCUS depends upon being successful in Direct Air Capture – and achieving costs far below what they are projecting so far. They also will largely depend upon the Voluntary Compliance markets to drive demand supported by policy decisions – i.e. subsidies, regulations, etc. – especially in the early years. And any oil produced via EOR from these sources will be expensive compared with other sources. Costs from DAC are far above the historic prices for CO2 - estimated around $40 a ton, and less for recycled CO2… How much of a premium will customers pay for such?

They’ve spelled out their expectations – and I congratulate them for doing so. They haven’t made the case for why it will happen. That depends upon policy decisions well beyond their control – and these decisions will apply to their competitors as well as themselves. Ditto for voluntary compliances. Hence, they’ll have to see how the ball bounces going forward and remain cautious, just like their competitors.

And geopolitics will play a large role in how these decisions are made. Will citizens tolerate reduced standards of living and companies accept competitive disadvantages to combat global warming while China, India, and others go forward focusing on economic growth? That issue is still in doubt.

I continue to see no justification, especially at this stage, for CCUS and EOR to impact Berkshire’s decisions on investing in OXY. Far, far too uncertain.

But I’m grateful for my increased insights from these debates. Glad it came up for discussion.

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Use some common sense people. The lower the concentration of CO2 in a stream, the more expensive it’s going to be to remove and recover it.

Though I certainly agree with the general conclusion, that specific reasoning is not necessarily an iron clad demonstration that it can’t be done at some economically viable price.
Sometimes a low concentration is a kiss of death, but occasionally–just occasionally–not.

Consider a counter example:
One of the classic con-man stories is investing in a company that has found a way to extract gold from seawater.
Nobody has found a way to make it work economically, so the mark loses his/her shirt every time.
Similarly, there is a teeny tiny amount of uranium in seawater. About 3.3 parts per billion (1/25000 the concentration
By the same reasoning above, it would be ipso facto wildly uneconomic to extract it.

But…some bright person in Japan found a plastic which preferentially binds to uranium and to almost nothing else.
They hang strips of it in the sea for a few months, then haul up the strips and refine them. (the uranium washes off with an acid, leaving the mats for reuse)
Their very first proof-of-concept provided a cost that made plausible economic sense for reactor fuel,
but production plans did not proceed because the commodity price of uranium is so darned low.
Their first cost was around $560 per pound, and US research has since dropped that to around $300.
With the going market price of uranium most often in the $30-$65 range, it’s still not profitable as such.
But it still makes sense in terms of what you get out. The only thing preventing the use of the process is that uranium is a strangely cheap fuel at present.
It’s not a meaningful fraction of the cost of running a reactor.
But, the good news: if all the world’s uranium mines closed, the required uranium could be extracted from seawater at a price that kept them going economically.

It’s not a fair comparison with CO2 in that people will pay more than 100-1000 times as much per kilo as they will for CO2 isolation.
But hey, it still worked with an input concentration 1/25000 as high!

To repeat, I happen to generally agree with your assessment about direct carbon capture.
And certainly with the notion that the lower the concentration, the harder the job is.
This entire comment is just a geeky technicality; a low input concentration is not by itself proof that separation can’t be done at a viable price.
I doubt that CO2 direct air capture can be, but hey, I would have wagered against the uranium idea too.

Jim

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Allocating capital to oil is dumb.

"To repeat, I happen to generally agree with your assessment about direct carbon capture.
And certainly with the notion that the lower the concentration, the harder the job is."

Elon Musk apparently believes carbon capture has some potential.

Carbon-Removal Tech Grabs Elon Musk’s Check
Millions poured into XPrize effort to pull CO2 out of the sky

"Stretching across the northern coasts of Oman and the United Arab Emirates loom the vast jagged peaks of the Al Hajar mountains. The craggy outcrops are made mostly of a rock called peridotite, which absorbs carbon dioxide from the air and turns it into solid minerals. The mountains could store trillions of tonnes of human-made CO2 emissions, but the natural carbon-mineralization process works at a glacial pace.

London startup 44.01 has found a way to speed it up. For this endeavor, 44.01 is teaming up with another London startup, Mission Zero Technologies, which has developed an energy-efficient method to capture CO2 from air. Called Project Hajar, it plans to pull 1,000 tonnes of CO2/year from air at a demonstration facility in Oman, injecting some 3–4 tonnes/day into the peridotite rocks. Mission Zero’s 120 tonne-capacity pilot plant will come online in the first half of 2023.

This ambitious, clear vision made Project Hajar one of 15 winners of a milestone US $1 million award announced by the ongoing XPrize Carbon Removal competition in late April. Funded by Elon Musk, this XPrize has the largest purse yet, $100 million, for methods to pull CO2 from air and lock it away. The 15 teams, selected from over 1,100, had to demonstrate a viable approach along with scale-up plans and cost estimates.

https://spectrum.ieee.org/carbon-removal-x-prize-finalists

Elon, what dreamer :blush:

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Elon Musk apparently believes carbon capture has some potential…

One of the coolest “left field” ideas I heard went like this:
To be effective, direct capture would require massive fans processing cubic miles of air.
But we already have that…spray an absorber onto everyone’s car radiator~~
I’m not sure it would work out, but I like the out-of-the-box thinking.

Probably a better idea for pollutants. The fans would be located in precisely the neighbourhoods of the world that need it most.
But there are lots of other fans in the world, as on air conditioners.

Jim

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Humans.

Yes, we need to look for a solution. Something that would remove carbon from the air. Yeah, that’s it. Something that Auto-Adjusts for the level of concentrations of carbon in the air and can even go on standby (like hibernation). Yes sir. Something that requires little or no active energy input to do it. Yes! And perhaps would have additional benefits like cooling the micro-environments nearby. Yesssss! Oh, and it could perhaps sustain native species, and clean the air too! Oh, yesssssssss!!! And it should be simple and require very, very basic technology, like a shovel and maybe water. YESSSS!!! and it could be implemented almost globally by all humans and even other species**! WOWWEEEE!

Let’s hand it to the design guys, and make it aesthetically pleasing too.

We should come up with a catchy name for the product…how about…Trees??? We could patent the process…photosynthesis!?

Nah, it would never work*.

Very very Foolishly,

Bill

*narrative above to be read in Rocket Racoon’s sarcastic voice.

**like every animal on the planet.

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We should come up with a catchy name for the product…how about…Trees???

Good example of extracting carbon from a low concentration source, but alas, it doesn’t work as a solution.
There isn’t enough land to try, and not at all likely to tie up carbon for geological time spans.

If you want to use a biological process, a better possible direction might be using the same land repeatedly—
Maybe farm and harvest gigatons of something like algae, then dry and bury all the crops very deeply.
But don’t use any fossil fuel derived fertilizer.

Neat paper that notes that a 1-hectare pond of Azolla (looks like duckweed) can sequester 21 kilotonnes of carbon per year.
They double in 2-5 days.

Jim

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Jim,

Good comment. Few things are absolute.

The process being tested by OXY starts by blowing air through basically a cooling tower wetted with a solution of potassium hydroxide in water. The acid CO2 reacts with the base KOH which is then further processed to recover the CO2. Oversimplified, but it’s a direct chemical reaction, and you have to move a lot of air to get a little CO2 - plus any other acidic gas that might be present. So concentration matters here.

My understanding is that there’s a lot of R&D going on for more selective and lower cost ways to remove the CO2. Exxon has reported on an organo-metallic mesh being jointly developed with others. A tailored amine on the mesh can selectively remove CO2. A cube the size of a sugar cube supposedly contains the surface area of an American football field. Still early in the game. But they’re concentrating on higher CO2 content streams from industrial plants, not direct air capture.

https://tinyurl.com/349eza7p

I know Exxon has been working on selective removal of H2S and/or CO2 for a long time from personal involvement. Almost four decades ago I helped them commercialize one of the early products. It was a hindered amine that had about twice the capacity for acid gas treatment than conventional amines. Thus you could double the capacity of an existing installation or, alternately, significantly reduce the size of a new installation. That weight and size savings could be significant for certain high cost installations such as offshore platforms. I was doing NBD work at the time and handled the supply of the product.

More recently I’ve read that a later variation of this is now being offered via an agreement with BASF to handle the supply and service. This one can selectively remove H2S in the presence of CO2.

https://www.exxonmobilchemical.com/en/catalysts-and-technolo…

CCUS will be needed to combat global warming. We should not underestimate the ability of technology to make it feasible. Over time, I’m confident that the work by Exxon, OXY, and other O&G companies will come up with economical solutions to the CCUS need for such. It’s in their area of expertise. It’s a matter of time, money, and early policy support to get this new industry rolling.

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Trees are far better than direct air capture (DAC). With trees you get the double whammy of removing CO2 and cooling the local area, by several degrees on hot days. Trees are also far cheaper. The Occidental DAC plant scheduled to open in late 2024 will sequester 0.5 tons of CO2 per year (maybe more after a few years) and cost $1 billion. Twenty million average size trees will sequester the same amount of CO2 per year, much more if they are large trees like redwoods or Douglas fir. With a sapling cost $0.50 each from state nurseries that works out to $10 million, and very low maintenance costs.

In India in 2017 volunteers planted 66 million trees in 12 hours.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2017/07/05/indias-re…

If 30 volunteers in each of 10,000 communities across the US planted 2,000 trees per community they would plant the equivalent of the Occidental facility, in one day. The trees might take 15 or 20 years to reach full size, but we could plant on more than just one day per year, and for more than just one year. Last January in the community where I live about 30 volunteers from each of two non-profit organizations planted a total of about 5,000 redwood trees in two days. Multiply that 10 days and 400 communities and you get the Occidental facility.

This October acorns will fall. Grab the grandkids and plant some oak trees. It’s free, and it’s educational for the kids. (Plant about four acorns to get one to survive, as the deer and field mice will eat three of the four.) The grandkids will love it, and if enough people do it, we’ll have planted the equivalent of Occidental’s DAV facility.

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"There isn’t enough land [to plant the necessary number of trees]

Maybe not in Europe, but in the US, according to this study.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90596394/map-heres-where-we-coul…

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“Last January in the community where I live about 30 volunteers from each of two non-profit organizations planted a total of about 5,000 redwood trees in two days.”

Correction: One of the non-profits planted 4,500 trees during a two-day weekend, and the other planted about 3,200 trees in a two-day weekend. Maybe about 70 volunteers in total.

CCUS will be needed to combat global warming…

That kind of sums it up.
But it’s a depressing thought, seen one way.

A bit of a tangent: can you spend $50 million without (statistically) killing someone?
Not really, it’s almost impossible at some threshold.
Some things have risks, albeit low ones, and if you instigate enough “things”, sooner or later something bad will be a side effect.

My fear is that doing large scale things like geoengineering or direct carbon capture might be like that.
Our modern world is built in such a way that to build a billion dollars of almost anything, you have
to do a given minimum amount of pollution and release a given amount of CO2. (and yes, kill workers)
Consider windmills: the shafts are steel, the foundations are concrete, the blades are largely plastics. Dang.
And they’re at the “good” end of the spectrum.
But imagine the task of building thousands of giant fans and motors to turn them.
Maybe it can be done, maybe it will even be affordable, but can it be done at a decent net benefit?

Nah, I’m just in a downer mood : )

Jim

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The best way to help global warming is less humans,therefore less human impact. Few speak of this.

Jk

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CCUS will be needed to combat global warming. We should not underestimate the ability of technology to make it feasible.

One of the things I’ve been annoyed about in the climate change debates has been the extreme aversion to looking for technical fixes by a lot of the involved parties. Things like fertilizing the open pacific with iron rich fertilizer (which greatly increases production of calcium carbonate by organisms that use that for a shell) get treated as if they were using nuclear waste on crackers for snacks. Humans are really ingenious. Let’s use that instead of throwing up our hands in despair.

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