Equinor acquires stake in major Port Arthur-area carbon capture project

Published 12:26 am Wednesday, August 30, 2023

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Equinor announced this week it acquired a 25 percent interest in Bayou Bend CCS LLC, which company officials said is positioned to be one of the largest U.S. carbon capture and storage projects.

It is located along the Gulf Coast in Southeast Texas.

Low Carbon Solutions Senior VP Grete Tveit said entering Bayou Bend strengthens Equinor’s low carbon solutions portfolio and supports its ambition to mature and develop 15-30 million tonnes of equity CO2 transport and storage capacity per year by 2035.

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“Our experience from developing carbon storage projects can help advance decarbonization efforts in one of the largest industrial corridors in the U.S.,” Tveit said.

Bayou Bend is positioned to be one of the largest CCS solutions in the U.S. for industrial emitters, with nearly 140,000 gross acres of pore space for permanent CO2 sequestration and gross potential storage resources of more than one billion metric tons.

The Bayou Bend total acreage includes nearly 100,000 gross acres onshore in Chambers and Jefferson counties and approximately 40,000 gross acres offshore Port Arthur and Beaumont.

Bayou Bend is a joint venture between Chevron U.S.A. Inc., through its Chevron New Energies division, Talos Energy Inc., through its Talos Low Carbon Solutions division, and Equinor.

Bayou Bend announced in March an expansion of its carbon dioxide storage footprint.

This is being made possible through the acquisition of nearly 100,000 acres onshore in Jefferson and Chambers counties.

In July, Bayou Bend officials updated the progress on the proposed effort.

That means they are advancing subsurface and infrastructure development planning, which includes environmental analyses, performing survey, and drilling initial characterization wells.

In addition, leaders are engaging potential industrial customers across the Golden Triangle that have expressed interest in sequestering their carbon dioxide in the years ahead.

Timing is dependent on multiple steps typical for a project of this size, according to Chevron New Energies.

“We anticipate design and execution to occur over the next several years, with an objective to be operational in the second half of this decade,” the company said.

“It is too soon to speculate on the number of construction jobs; however, as one of the largest carbon storage hubs in the U.S., Bayou Bend is expected to be a significant contributor to local communities in a number of ways.

“Given that Bayou Bend has not taken final investment decision, we have not completed detailed full-time permanent staffing plans. Those will be developed over the coming years.”

Combined with a previously announced approximately 40,000 acres offshore Beaumont and Port Arthur, the expanded Bayou Bend project could encompass nearly 140,000 acres for permanent CO2 sequestration.

The total acreage holds estimated gross potential storage resources of more than one billion metric tons, positioning Bayou Bend to be a leading carbon transportation and storage solution for industrial emitters in the region.

Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick has said county officials are pleased with the expansion efforts.

“This project has the potential to further enhance the economic strength of our community, and we look forward to working with the venture in their endeavor,” he said.

The proposed locations of the efforts are located to the west and south of Downtown Port Arthur.

Equinor acquired its 25 percent share through the purchase of Texas Carbon 1 LLC, a subsidiary of Carbonvert. Chevron is the operator with 50 percent interest, and Talos holds 25 percent interest.

“Delivering lower carbon solutions to harder-to-abate industries is fundamental to Chevron New Energies’ mission, and as a Southeast Texas native, I know how vital these industries are to our local communities and their economies,” said Chris Powers, vice president, CCUS, Chevron New Energies.