Interview with James Mackey, Managing Director for CCUS Projects, OGCI Climate Investments

Ahead of the 2020 North American Gas Forum we interviewed James Mackey, Managing Director for CCUS Projects at OGCI Climate Investments.

James will be joining us as a panelist at this year’s North American Gas Forum on October 20-22, 2020 in Washington D.C. and virtually.

We invite you to read James Mackey’s full interview below.

ED: Can you share with us details on your work at OGCI Climate Investments as the Managing Director for CCUS Projects?

JM: As Managing Director for CCUS Projects at OGCI Climate Investments, I lead the team responsible for investing in projects that recycle and store greenhouse gas emissions from large industrial facilities.

ED: In 2016 OGCI announced the establishment of a $1B+ fund. How is OGCI Climate Investments using this money to develop and accelerate the commercial deployment of innovative low emissions technologies?

JM: OGCI Climate Investments is a $1B+ fund set up by the member companies of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), a CEO-led consortium that aims to accelerate the industry response to climate change. At OGCI Climate Investments, we invest in solutions to decarbonize sectors like oil and gas, industrials and commercial transport, and look for outcomes that reduce methane and carbon dioxide emissions, and that can recycle or store carbon dioxide. Unlike most funds, we will measure our success by our carbon impact: this means that our investments have to not only be commercially and financially viable, but also have to demonstrably reduce the carbon footprint of a sector or product by our investment.

Since our establishment in 2016 and first investments in 2017, we have built a strong investment portfolio of innovative companies and projects which are achieving impact across our three outcomes areas. To date, we have 19 companies in our portfolio, which includes six companies focused on innovative technologies that detect, measure and reduce methane emissions, six companies focused on reducing carbon emissions through increased efficiency and seven investments in companies and projects that recycle carbon dioxide. Of these seven, we have invested in four CCUS projects which, once operational, collectively aim to capture over 9MT of CO2 per year.

ED: Can you tell us about the work that OGCI Climate Investment’s has been doing this year, as well as some of the projects on the horizon?

JM: This year alone, we have added four new investments to our portfolio. In February, we partnered with California Resources Corporation to create Elk Hills Carbon, California’s first carbon capture and sequestration system. We also held out first virtual investment day in March, following the cancelation of the live event at CERA Week due to Covid-19. This was focused on decarbonizing oil and gas operations, and we heard from 7 presenting companies shortlisted from over 70 applications. Qnergy was chosen as our latest investment and will use the funding to grow its remote power solutions, which help companies improve operational efficiency and reduce emissions.

In April, we partnered with Starwood Energy and Elysian Ventures to develop one of the world’s first full-scale carbon capture facilities to be integrated into a natural gas power plant. In June, we led an investment round in Ontruck, an exciting Spanish start up whose technology reduces the number of empty kilometres travelled by goods vehicles.

Most recently, we launched a global investment call for projects that are significantly reducing methane emissions, to keep up momentum on reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations during a difficult economic environment.  We are looking for projects anywhere in the world that can deliver near-term reductions and prove that viable business models exist today to stop methane emissions, in order to attract more capital in the future to this area. The application is open to projects across all the streams and from owners, operators, developers or service providers.

ED: What are some of the partnerships and collaborations that have been key for OGCI Climate Investments?

JM: OGCI Climate Investments works with a range of partners, as we know that collaboration will be key to achieving our goals. Back in 2017, OGCI Climate Investments joined the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, through which we have worked with fellow coalition members to identify, develop and deploy clean energy innovations.

ED: Do you believe the pandemic crisis will impact the road towards a more sustainable energy future? What impact will it have on ESG? Will it remain a priority or take a back seat?

JM: Our commitments remain unchanged. We believe now is the time to fund creative financing solutions to continue efforts on emissions reduction, in some cases alongside other public and private Covid-19 recovery funds. That’s why we announced our new investment call – we are aiming to accelerate investment in projects that reduce methane emissions in oil and gas operations in the field. Finding a long term decarbonization pathway for these areas still remains crucial and is a great opportunity to contribute to a lower carbon post-Covid-19 recovery.

ED: You will be joining us as a panelist at this year’s North American Gas Forum (October 20-22 in Washington D.C.) where you will be discussing investors’ perspectives on natural gas and ESG performance. In your opinion, how will reducing methane emissions impact portfolio investment?

JM: Methane is a critical greenhouse gas – it is responsible for around 25% of today’s global warming – and is an area where we believe we can have a meaningful impact not only on reducing emissions but demonstrating how innovative business models can be successful and attract broader participation in future emission reduction projects. The focus of our global investment call for projects that are significantly reducing methane emissions is to find business models that can scale up, be replicated, and encourage broader industry adoption.

About OGCI Climate Investments

OGCI Climate Investments is a $1B+ fund that invests in solutions to decarbonize sectors like oil and gas, industrials and commercial transport. We look for outcomes that reduce methane and carbon dioxide emissions, and that can recycle or store carbon dioxide. Achieving significant impact requires global implementation and commercial frameworks; at OGCI Climate Investments, we collaborate with innovators, investors and governments to fund and implement impactful solutions.

To learn more about OGCI Climate Investments, please click here

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