The Permian Basin in West Texas has been chosen to site the world’s largest direct air capture (DAC) and sequestration facility, according to Occidental Petroleum Corp. (Oxy) and Carbon Engineering Ltd. (CE).

Subsidiary Oxy Low Carbon Ventures LLC (OLCV) is evaluating a facility with Canada-based CE designed to capture 500 kilotonnes/year of carbon dioxide (CO2) directly from the atmosphere.

The CO2 would be used in Oxy’s massive enhanced oil recovery operations in the Permian and then be stored permanently underground.

“Using atmospheric CO2 for oil recovery greatly reduces the net addition of CO2 to the atmosphere from oil production and fuel use, and opens a pathway to producing fully carbon-neutral or even net-negative fuels,” OLCV President Richard Jackson said.

OLCV and Chevron Corp. earlier this year jointly invested in CE to accelerate commercialization of CE’s DAC technology. CE’s investors also include Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Canadian oilsands financier N. Murray Edwards and BHP.

CE CEO Stee Oldham said including other mitigation solutions, “carbon removal technologies like DAC are going to be essential if we hope to decarbonize in time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

“These carbon removal technologies need to be deployed widely and at large enough scales to be climate-relevant. This project, the largest DAC-sequestration plant in the world, is therefore a huge step forward in demonstrating the readiness of large-scale atmospheric carbon removal, and in accelerating efforts to bring global emissions down to net-zero, and eventually to net negative.”

The proposed project would begin with one DAC plant and eventually expand to multiple facilities, each capable of capturing 1 megatonne/year of atmospheric CO2. If the initial plant is approved by the partners, construction could begin in 2021, with the facility operational within two years.