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Chevron Continuing Lower Emissions Drive

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Despite a lacking pledge on net-zero emissions, US supermajor Chevron has plans to further dive into greenhouse gas emissions reductions, carbon capture and offsets.

CEO Mike Wirth said clarification on progress toward net-zero emissions and reductions of Scope 3 emissions, which shareholders voted to reduce in May, will be present in next month’s update to Chevron’s climate change resilience report.

“An ultimate pathway to net zero will require technology advancements, more ambitious government policy, and development of large offset markets,” Wirth said during the company’s Energy Transition Spotlight.

Jeff Gustavson, president of Chevron New Energies, said the company is planning to invest directly in scalable nature-based solutions like soil carbon storage, reforestation, and mangrove reforestation. Although Chevron has been involved with offsets for decades, the expanded investments will pair offsets with product supply.

A partnership with Pavilion Energy will supply about 500,000 tons of liquified natural gas a year to Singapore, with each cargo accompanied by a statement of its greenhouse gas emissions measured from wellhead to discharge port.

Emissions statements like this are an important step to reducing emissions since it focuses on accurate measurements of emissions rather than estimates, which are often used in LNG cargoes and can lead to inaccurate offsets.

One way Chevron is hoping to drive down its emissions is through carbon capture and storage. The US giant has a number of pilots underway through its San Joaquin Valley operations in California, and recently announced a memorandum of understanding with Enterprise Products Partners to explore carbon capture, utilization and storage opportunities in the US Gulf Coast and the Mid-continent.

It also operates a CCS project at its Gorgon LNG development in Western Australia, however, that project has, so far, failed to live up to expectations, only capturing a fraction of the emissions forecast following a troubled and delayed start-up.

Chevron has a target to reduce methane intensity to two kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent per barrel by 2028, a 50 percent reduction from the 2016 baseline.

A key part of reducing methane emissions is detecting them. Chevron is in the process of expanding its methane detection capabilities to include airborne sensors using satellites, aircrafts and drones, along with traditional ground sensors. The company is also exploring aerial campaigns for the Gulf of Mexico and Argentina.

“Methane detection capability is critical to the world’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and our work with industry and academic partners is an important contribution to the accuracy and credibility of global methane reporting,” said Bruce Niemeyer, vice president of strategy and sustainability for Chevron.

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