Solar EOR Gains Steam In Oil Patch

Some oil and gas companies are turning to renewables, particularly solar, to boost oil production from fields as they work to reduce carbon footprints while meeting today’s global energy needs.

Occidental of Oman, a subsidiary of Houston-based Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY), is among the latest companies to take the step. The company signed an agreement this week with GlassPoint Solar that could lead to a more than 2-gigawatt solar thermal energy plant at the Mukhaizna oil field in Oman.

“This is a strategic opportunity for us to tap into solar as a sustainable source of energy in order to minimize the carbon footprint of our operations,” Steve Kelly, president and general manager of Occidental of Oman, said in a statement about the agreement.

GlassPoint, the technology company behind solar EOR projects for Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and California’s Berry Petroleum Corp. (NASDAQ: BRY), would use its solar technology to produce steam that would, in turn, be purchased by Occidental and used to produce heavy oil. By eliminating the use of natural gas in the EOR process, the proposed project could cut CO2 emissions by more than 800,000 tons annually, according to GlassPoint.