The Korea Herald


SK becomes world’s 1st buyer of ‘net-zero oil’

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : March 23, 2022 - 15:29

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A rendered image of a facility for direct air capture of carbon dioxide (SK Innovation) A rendered image of a facility for direct air capture of carbon dioxide (SK Innovation)
SK Trading International, a subsidiary of South Korean refiner SK Innovation, announced Wednesday plans to purchase up to 200,000 barrels of “net-zero oil” each year for five years from US-based Occidental Petroleum Corp., in a move to use the sustainable commodity for commercial products.

The affiliates of SK Group, South Korea’s third-largest conglomerate by assets, will use the oil for products including eco-friendly aviation fuel. SK’s purchase of net-zero oil will begin in 2025.

While oil still releases greenhouse gases when it is burned, Occidental calls it net-zero oil because it says it can remove carbon from the atmosphere and keep it isolated in a petroleum reservoir. It would be enough to offset the CO2 emissions throughout the entire crude oil lifecycle, it said.

Occidental plans to inject approximately 100,000 metric tons of captured atmospheric carbon dioxide per year inside its enhanced oil recovery reservoirs in the Permian Basin in Texas, starting 2024.

“We are pleased to be a part of the world’s first carbon emission reduction initiative that is underpinned by processing net-zero oil on a life-cycle analysis basis,” Suh Sok-won, president and chief executive officer of SK Trading International, said in a statement.

SK Innovation and SK Trading International have said they aim to halve carbon emissions by 2030 and become carbon neutral before 2050 under its “Carbon to Green” strategy.