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Occidental Petroleum, Berkshire Hathaway partner to extract lithium

Occidental (NYSE: OXY) and Berkshire Hathaway’s energy unit BHE Renewables have formed a joint venture to extract and commercially produce high-purity lithium compounds from geothermal brine.

Occidental, one of the largest oil and gas producers in the US, said the project would help demonstrate the feasibility of using its direct lithium extraction technology in an environmentally safe manner. The tests will be conducted at one of BHE Renewables’ facilities in California.

BHE Renewables operates 10 geothermal power plants in California’s Imperial Valley. These plants can process 50,000 gallons of lithium-rich brine per minute to produce 345 megawatts of clean energy.

Upon successful demonstration, the Warren Buffett-backed energy venture will then build, own and operate commercial lithium production facilities in the US.

“By leveraging Occidental’s expertise in managing and processing brine in our oil and gas and chemicals businesses, combined with BHE Renewables’ deep knowledge in geothermal operations, we are uniquely positioned to advance a more sustainable form of lithium production,” said Richard Jackson, president of US onshore resources and carbon management operations at Occidental.

Oil majors are investing in the electrification sector as governments in the United States and Europe establish programs to promote the broader use of EVs and reduce fossil-fuel consumption.

Exxon Mobil has plans to start producing lithium from sub-surface wells by 2027, while European oil rivals BP and Shell have invested in EV charging stations as part of their energy transition strategies.

(With files from Reuters)

Source: MINING.COM – Read More