A venture backed by Occidental Petroleum Corp. awarded an engineering contract to Worley Ltd. on Feb. 23 for a carbon capture project being developed by the Houston-based oil and gas producer in the Permian Basin.

Occidental launched plans last August to develop the largest ever facility to pull CO₂ out of the atmosphere through a process known as direct air capture for its operations in the Permian Basin. The facility is being developed by 1PointFive Inc., a joint venture between Occidental venture capital arm Oxy Low Carbon Ventures LLC and private equity firm Rusheen Capital Management LLC.

The Permian facility, located on 100 acres in West Texas, will be the first commercial-scale development using Carbon Engineering Ltd.’s direct air capture technology. Carbon Engineering has a pilot plant in British Columbia that has been operating since 2015.

On Feb. 23, Worley said it had been awarded a FEED contract by 1PointFive for the Permian facility’s first direct air capture unit. Each direct air capture unit has an expected design capacity to extract 1 million metric tons of atmospheric CO₂ annually.

How Direct Air Capture + Sequestration Works
How Direct Air Capture + Sequestration Works (Source: Worley)

Upon completion of the FEED, 1PointFive and Worley expect to form an alliance and move into the engineering, procurement and construction phase for the first direct air capture unit with plans for the next three units to follow.

“We are delighted to have been awarded the FEED contract and we are looking forward to forming the alliance with 1PointFive,” Worley CEO Chris Ashton said in a statement on Feb. 23. “This direct air capture project is a starting point for the deployment of commercial-scale DAC [direct air capture] to help companies meet CO₂ emission reduction targets and aligns with Worley’s strategic focus of delivering a more sustainable world”

Construction of the Permian direct air capture facility is expected to begin in 2022.

The FEED services for the facility will be led by Worley’s Houston office, with support from Worley’s global integrated delivery team
in India.

Worley is a global engineering company headquartered in Australia serving the energy, chemical and resources sectors.