Oil producer Diamondback Energy may add nuclear fission energy as a power source for drilling operations in the Permian Basin, taking another step toward lowering its emissions.

California-headquartered Oklo Inc., a fission power plant developer, on April 8 said it signed a letter of intent with the Midland, Texas-based independent to collaborate on a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with a 20-year extension option.

The PPA will focus on use of Oklo’s Aurora powerhouses, which are scalable liquid metal-cooled, metal-fueled fast reactors that generate usable heat and between 15 megawatts (MW) and 50 MW of electricity.

The partnership emerges as oil companies are taking additional steps to lower emissions while securing reliable access to electricity to power field operations.

The move could mark the start of a future shift in powering oil fields with operators moving from diesel generators to electricity from the power grid to small nuclear reactors onsite.

“By developing and providing a low-cost, high-reliability, and emission-free energy source, Oklo is poised to help meet the growing energy requirements of operators like Diamondback,” Oklo CEO Jacob DeWitte said in a news release.

As part of the PPA, Oklo plans to license, build and operate powerhouses capable of generating 50 MW of electric power to Diamondback E&P LLC, Oklo said in a news release. The powerhouses are designed to operate for 40 years.