Source: Houston Chronicle

Occidental Petroleum opened the first solar farm to directly power its oil and gas operations.

Houston-based Oxy said the Goldsmith solar farm will provide the electricity to power its enhanced oil recovery operations in West Texas’ Permian Basin.

“Occidental is taking an important step toward realizing our aspiration to become carbon neutral through the use of emissions-free solar electricity,” said Oxy Chief Executive Vicki Hollub.

Oxy starts first solar farm to power oil production - oil and gas 360

Photo: John Davenport, STAFF / San Antonio Express-News

The 120-acre, 16 megawatt solar farm is located outside of Odessa at the Goldsmith oilfield also named for the small Texas city. It’s a smaller solar farm, but enough to power the oilfield operations, or to power several thousand homes.

Oxy said it also signed a new 12-year solar power purchase agreement to buy solar power from another solar farm planned in West Texas that would open in 2021.

Oxy’s enhanced oil recovery methods in the Permian involve injecting carbon dioxide into more mature wells to help churn out additional oil and gas volumes.

Oxy also is planning to build the first “direct air capture” plant in the booming Permian Basin to suck carbon dioxide out of the sky and inject it into the ground to aid in oil production.

The Houston oil producer has doubled down in the Permian this year, acquiring The Woodlands-based Anadarko Petroleum and its crown jewel Permian acreage in a $38 billion mega deal.

“As the top producer in the Permian, we are focusing many of our low-carbon investments and projects in the region with the goal of becoming the leader in producing lower-carbon energy,” said Oxy Low Carbon Ventures President Richard Jackson said.

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