Chevron, Schlumberger withdraw request for California carbon-capture allow By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Chevron Corp is seen in its booth at Gastech, the world’s biggest expo for the gas industry, in Chiba, Japan April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

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By Liz Hampton and Sabrina Valle

(Reuters) – Top US energy companies chevrons (NYSE:) and Schlumberger (NYSE:) have withdrawn an application to capture carbon dioxide emissions and store them deep underground in central California, spokespeople said on Wednesday, putting the clean-energy project on hold after US environmental regulators questioned it.

Burying industrial gases has become a focus for energy companies seeking to show investors they are willing to reduce emissions and help fight climate change. Their permit was one of more than a dozen filed with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which requested the application be withdrawn.

In a March 25 letter, the EPA said the application was “substantially incomplete,” citing changes to the application and the failure to supply financial assurances.

The companies had formed a venture to revive an idled biomass-fueled power plant and generate “carbon negative power” in Mendota, near Fresno, California. The project included an underground carbon sequestration site and would remove about 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year.

“The EPA did the right thing by hitting the brakes on the Mendota carbon capture project,” said Victoria Bogdan Tejeda, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity. “Carbon capture is risky, expensive, and incompatible with environmental justice.”

Chevron and Schlumberger said they elected to withdraw the permit application and the group would continue “to gather and evaluate project information.”

“The team remains committed to developing lower carbon solutions and doing so in an environmentally and socially responsible manner,” spokespeople said.

Separately, Chevron on Wednesday said it was launching a carbon capture and storage project in the San Joaquin Valley aimed at reducing emissions from its own operations in California.

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