Exxon and EnLink eye gulf coast

PLUS: Chord-Enerplus merger, Gulf coast CCS, Ascend's $162mm raise, WovenEarth's raise, Total-Airbus SAF, Oxy considering sale, Rio Tinto wind, Microsoft-Catona Climate

Good Morning. This is the Sunya Scoop. The newsletter that takes energy transition news and turns it into an easy-to-read email for you.

Here’s what we have for you today:

  • Catona Climate announced a six-year offtake agreement with Microsoft to purchase 350,000 tonnes of carbon removal credits from an agroforestry project in Kenya.

  • The project, located in Homa Bay, Kenya, involves developing forest gardens with 15,000 local smallholder farmers.

  • Farmers receive training in agroforestry practices to maximize yields without fertilizers or pesticides, prevent deforestation, and enhance biodiversity.

  • The project supports Microsoft's goal to become carbon negative by 2030 and aligns with their focus on nature-based solutions.

  • EnLink Midstream, LLC (EnLink) and ExxonMobil are exploring additional carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) opportunities in the Gulf Coast.

  • Over 215 million metric tonnes per year (Mtpa) of CO2 emissions are generated in areas such as the Houston Ship Channel, Mississippi River Corridor, Lake Charles, southwest Louisiana, Port Arthur, and Beaumont, Texas.

  • EnLink and ExxonMobil aim to provide cost-effective and efficient CCS solutions to CO2 emitting companies in these areas.

  • EnLink's expertise in building, owning, and operating midstream assets, combined with ExxonMobil's leadership in CCS solutions, facilitates the development of strategic relationships to serve customers.

  • The Pecan Island Area project's near-term role is being reassessed, with other joint opportunities potentially prioritized ahead of it.

  • Ascend Elements secured $162 million in new equity investments, adding to its previous $542 million funding round.

  • Major investors include Just Climate, Clearvision Ventures, and IRONGREY.

  • The 12-month funding total now stands at $704 million.

  • The funding will accelerate the construction of Ascend Elements' Apex 1 EV battery materials manufacturing facility in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

  • The Hydro-to-Cathode® technology transforms spent lithium-ion batteries into critical materials for new batteries, championing circularity.

  • The Apex 1 facility, supported by the DOE and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will produce sustainable cathode precursor (pCAM) and cathode active materials (CAM) for electric vehicles.

  • Ascend Elements' ultra-efficient method utilizes black mass from lithium-ion battery recycling to produce sustainable materials, reducing carbon emissions and economic costs.

  • WovenEarth Ventures closed its first fund, WovenEarth Fund I, at $152 million on January 31st, hitting its hard cap.

  • The fund aims to simplify investment in US early-stage climate tech ventures, offering diversified exposure through a fund of funds approach.

  • Founded by Jane Woodward, supported by Mauricia Geissler and Denise Miller, the firm draws on extensive experience in energy industry risk management.

  • Institutional partners include major university endowments and foundations like Glenmede and Mortenson Family Foundation.

  • With 13 invested US-based climate tech venture fund managers, the fund targets over 300 underlying portfolio companies and offers direct co-investment opportunities.

  • Airbus and TotalEnergies have signed a strategic partnership to address aviation decarbonization with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

  • The partnership aims to contribute to reducing the sector's CO2 emissions, with SAF capable of reducing up to 90% of CO2 emissions over their lifecycle compared to fossil fuels.

  • TotalEnergies will supply Airbus with sustainable aviation fuel for over half of its needs in Europe.

  • A research and innovation program will develop 100% sustainable fuels tailored to current and future aircraft designs, studying their impact on CO2 emissions and non-CO2 effects like contrails.

  • TotalEnergies has been supplying SAF for Airbus aircraft deliveries in Toulouse since 2016 and for several significant SAF flights with Airbus aircraft.

  • Patrick Pouyanné, TotalEnergies' Chairman and CEO, highlights their commitment to SAF development, targeting 1.5 million tons of annual SAF production by 2030.

  • Occidental Petroleum is considering selling Western Midstream Partners, a U.S. natural gas-focused pipeline operator valued at around $20 billion, to alleviate its $18.5 billion debt burden.

  • Occidental owns 49% of Western Midstream and controls its operations through ownership of its general partner.

  • Western Midstream has around 16,000 miles of pipelines and operates predominantly in the Permian basin and the Denver-Julesburg basin.

  • Occidental's interest in selling assets aligns with the broader trend of dealmaking in the pipeline sector, with companies seeking to cut costs and gain access to lucrative oil and gas regions.

  • Chord Energy Corp. and Enerplus Corporation have agreed to merge in an $11 billion transaction, creating a premier Williston-focused E&P company.

  • The combined entity will boast enhanced operating scale, covering a total of 1.3 million net acres and a combined 4Q23 production of 287,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (Boepd).

  • Expectations include approximately 10 years of low-breakeven inventory and opportunities for expanding three-mile lateral development, driving returns and free cash flow.

  • Anticipated synergies could yield up to $150 million in annual savings across administrative, capital, and operational costs.

  • Pro forma ownership will see Chord shareholders holding approximately 67% of the combined company

  • Rio Tinto Ltd has finalized a renewable power purchase agreement with Windlab to acquire the majority of electricity from the planned 1.4 gigawatt (GW) Bungaban wind energy project in Queensland.

  • The agreement stipulates Rio Tinto purchasing 80% of the power generated by the Bungaban project over a 25-year period.

  • Construction of the Bungaban project is slated to commence in late 2025, with electricity production expected to commence by 2029.

  • Additionally, 20% of the Bungaban project's electricity will supply Australia's National Electricity Market.

  • This agreement follows Rio Tinto's recent renewable energy purchase deal with European Energy Australia to procure all electricity from the 1.1 GW Upper Calliope solar farm for its Gladstone operations.

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DISCLAIMER: None of this is financial advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. Please be careful and do your own research.

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