Photo: Courtesy of Port of Corpus Christi

Chasing carbon capture and sequestration options in one of the largest ports in U.S.

Houston-based oil and gas company Talos Energy has joined forces with the U.S. Port of Corpus Christi Authority and compatriot energy company Howard Midstream Energy Partners (HEP) to pursue carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) opportunities at the Port of Corpus Christi.

Talos reported on Monday that it has entered into an optional agreement with Howard Energy Partners and the Port of Corpus Christi Authority to pursue commercial CCS opportunities on-site at the Port of Corpus Christi through a project which will be known as the Coastal Bend Carbon Management Partnership.

Timothy S. Duncan, Talos President and Chief Executive Officer, remarked: “We have already commenced our technical and commercial evaluation and are confident in the potential success and positive impact this project can have on the Coastal Bend region.

“The Port of Corpus Christi is an incredibly important export hub for the United States, and our goal is to offer their large customer base an on-site decarbonization solution to help reduce the carbon intensity of those products shipped all around the world from right here in Texas.”

The trio will identify and mature CCS project solutions on port-owned lands during the initial nine-month evaluation period. Talos believes that the parties are positioned to offer a local, fully integrated CCS project to customers in the region due to a diverse industrial footprint at the port, transportation infrastructure and expertise from HEP, and subsurface and sequestration capabilities from Talos.

Coastal Bend Project site map; Source: Talos
Coastal Bend project site map; Source: Talos

Located on the western Gulf of Mexico with a 36-mile or 57.9-kilometre, soon to be 54-foot or 16.4-metre (MLLW) deep channel, the Port of Corpus Christi is a major strategic export hub and one of the largest ports in the United States. It accounts for over $200 billion of economic impact from approximately 7,000 vessel shipments annually while port-related employment accounts for approximately 100,000 jobs in the Coastal Bend area.

Talos explains that the Coastal Bend Carbon Management Partnership aims to provide the port’s more than 200 customers with a turn-key CCS solution to participate in meaningful decarbonisation efforts. Furthermore, the lease option agreement encompasses approximately 13,000 acres or 52.6 km² for CCS project evaluation, with an initial goal to sequester 1.0 – 1.5 million metric tons of COper year of industrial emissions into saline aquifers utilizing an estimated total storage capacity of 50 – 100 million metric tons.

Moreover, the three players may expand the project to a regional hub scale with the capability to sequester 6 – 10 million metric tons per year of the approximately 20 million metric tons per year of total regional emissions, based on proof of concept and market demand.

Mike Howard, Howard Energy Partners Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “As a South Texas-based company with significant infrastructure in Corpus Christi, we are uniquely positioned to leverage our midstream expertise and our strategically located Javelina off-gas recycling facility to provide cost-effective CO2 capture to our existing customers while reducing the local industry’s carbon footprint.”

Howard Midstream Energy Partners’ Javelina midstream system is directly connected to over half of the total regional emissions with approximately 60 miles of existing infrastructure, which is ideally situated for gathering activities throughout the port area.

Sean Strawbridge, Port of Corpus Christi Authority Chief Executive Officer, stated: “The Port of Corpus Christi is committed to proactive environmental protections. Our current environmental policy is robust, but there’s always more work to be done, particularly considering the urgency needed to limit the impact emissions have on the climate.”

To this end, several deals have been inked over the past few months. In August 2021, plans were revealed to convert Howard’s Javelina refinery services facility – strategically positioned in the Port of Corpus Christi with pipeline connectivity to all six of the local refineries – into the region’s first carbon-neutral hydrogen production facility.

Following this announcement, Apex Clean Energy, Ares, EPIC Midstream, and PCCA informed last week about their intention to explore the development of green hydrogen production, including a new pipeline and a green fuels hub at the Port of Corpus Christi.  

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“Engaging best-in-class companies such as Talos Energy and Howard Energy Partners in this innovative endeavour to create a centralized CCS solution is a natural milestone in our evolution of adding additional clean energy sources to our portfolio,” concluded Strawbridge.

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When it comes to Talos’ achievements in pursuing more CCS opportunities, it is worth noting that the company expanded its CCS project portfolio to three sequestration projects earlier this month. This includes two regional hubs and one point source, spanning the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts.

Talos CCS Project Portfolio
Talos CCS Project Portfolio; Source: Talos Energy