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Oxy's environmental stewardship practices and performance focus on climate change, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions management, biodiversity and habitat conservation, and water and waste management.


Climate Change

As the first major U.S. oil and natural gas producer to establish net-zero emission goals for its operations and products (Scopes 1, 2 and 3), Oxy recognizes the significant challenge climate change poses to our society and is resolved to be part of the solution. Achieving our climate goals involves a multi-pronged approach to lower both greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2). Our Climate Report “Pathway to Net-Zero” underscores this commitment, demonstrated by our effort to develop and commercialize technologies that lower both GHG emissions and atmospheric concentrations of CO2.

Our leading position as the first U.S. producer to endorse international commitments, including the World Bank’s "Zero Routine Flaring by 2030" initiative and the Energy Transition Principles, further illustrates our commitment to promote policies that will successfully accelerate a lower-carbon economy while meeting the needs and aspirations of a growing, energy-dependent global population.   

Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Methane and Flaring

Our commitments and ongoing initiatives to reduce GHG and methane emissions and to eliminate routine flaring will help us to achieve our net-zero goals.

Our workforce is empowered to generate and implement ideas and products to reduce our operational emissions. Carbon dioxide and methane are both valuable products and raw materials for Oxy’s oil and gas and chemicals operations and our growing low carbon ventures business. Oxy Low Carbon Ventures is actively developing projects to permanently store CO2 captured directly from the atmosphere and from industrial sources, and to enable zero or low-carbon production of oil, electricity, fuels, chemicals and other products.

Oxy is also a member of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), a CEO-led initiative that aims to accelerate the energy industry's response to climate change. In addition to setting collective methane reduction targets, OGCI is focused on reducing the carbon footprints of energy, industry and transportation value chains via engagements, policies, investments and deployment. OGCI Climate Investments is a $1 billion-plus fund to which Oxy and other OGCI members contribute to invest in technologies, projects and business solutions with potential to significantly reduce emissions in the energy and industrial sectors.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Estimation and Reporting

Oxy values transparency and discloses key environmental metrics important to our stakeholders. We report our estimated GHG emissions from our operations on an operated and equity basis in our Annual Performance Summary Table. Our disclosures include CO2, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), with CO2 constituting the majority of our GHG emissions. Oxy uses industry standards and practices for estimating emissions, including guidance from the U.S. EPA and API-IPIECA.

Progress Toward Targets

We are taking action to advance our environmental goals throughout our operations, including:

  • Air Emissions Mitigation: We have implemented a Find It, Fix It, Measure It and Predict It ("Find It/Fix It") program that provides our operations and maintenance personnel and air quality professionals with additional resources to expedite detection, reporting and repair of emissions sources, improve measurement and estimation of methane releases, and perform root cause analysis to prevent recurrence. On a parallel track, we have established an Emissions Technology Team to evaluate and pilot remote sensing technologies that can identify methane emissions more rapidly and over a broader geographic area that can help direct our Find It/Fix It crews to areas with potential emissions.
  • Flaring: An extended gas gathering system in our New Mexico operations facilitates the transfer of sales gas to multiple third-party midstream companies to reduce flaring during maintenance events or unplanned outages at third-party processing plants and pipelines. We have achieved our zero routine flaring goal in our DJ Basin operations.
  • Methane Capture: We retrofit existing facilities and design new facilities to reduce methane emissions, such as replacing certain flares with vapor recovery units at well sites and tank batteries. As a member of the American Petroleum Institute-sponsored Environmental Partnership and OGCI, we set a mid-term target to reduce methane emissions below 0.25% of our total marketed natural gas volume by 2025.
  • Energy Use and Efficiency: In 2019, Oxy commissioned Texas’ first-of-its-kind solar facility to directly power an enhanced oil recovery field operation in the Permian Basin.
  • Co-Generation: OxyChem has continued to optimize our highly efficient combined heat and power (or cogeneration) facilities, which supply electricity and steam to several of our chemical plants and supply surplus power to the grid, further reducing our emissions by 18,500 tons of CO2 equivalent per year.