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Schlumberger, Chevron, Microsoft Eye Biomass Plant In California

By Micah Maidenberg


Two companies tied to the oil market and Microsoft Corp. plan to develop a power plant in California they say will produce a negative amount of carbon emissions, the latest example of big companies experimenting with new energy projects.

A unit of oilfield services company Schlumberger Ltd., Chevron Corp. and Microsoft said Thursday they will open a bioenergy plant in Mendota, Calif., that converts agricultural waste such as almond trees into a gas that, when combined with oxygen, will generate electricity. Clean Energy Systems, which focuses on deploying energy developments that cut carbon, is also part of the effort, the companies said in a statement.

Many large corporations have been moving into renewable energy markets, pushed at times by investors concerned about sustainability and with an eye on potential new regulations designed to limit carbon emissions that cause climate change. General Motors Co., for example, said Thursday it is looking to develop a second battery plant with LG Chem Ltd. in the U.S., while Exxon Mobil Corp. said Wednesday it now believes that capturing carbon emissions will be a real business opportunity for it.

Virtually all of the carbon created from the conversion at the proposed California plant is expected to be captured and injected underground, the companies said Thursday.

They said the process is designed to result in net-negative carbon emissions, effectively removing greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. On an annual basis, the plant is expected to remove about 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually, equivalent to the emissions from electricity use in some 65,000 homes.

Schlumberger, Chevron and the other companies involved in the project plan to make a final investment decision about building the plant next year. Then, they said they would evaluate other opportunities to "scale this carbon capture and sequestration solution."


Write to Micah Maidenberg at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 04, 2021 09:48 ET (14:48 GMT)

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