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Chevron, Brightmark form JV for dairy biomethane fuel project

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

(Reuters) - Oil major Chevron Corp's CVX.N U.S. unit and waste management firm Brightmark LLC said on Wednesday they have formed a joint venture to market dairy biomethane, a renewable natural gas made of methane emissions from cattle burps.

Ruminant livestock such as cattle and sheep produce methane as a byproduct while digesting fibrous plant material. Methane accounts for 20% of global emissions and scientists have been working for years to reduce the amount of the gas released by cattle.

Chevron U.S.A. and Brightmark LLC said their investments in the new venture, Brightmark RNG Holdings LLC, will fund the construction of required infrastructure and commercial operation of dairy biomethane projects across multiple U.S. states.

Chevron will purchase the renewable natural gas produced from the JV’s projects and market it for use in vehicles that run on compressed natural gas, the companies said.

The latest move underscores a shift in investor demand, with increased pressure in recent years on fossil fuel companies, including Chevron, to reduce emissions, spend more on low-carbon energy and make disclosures on the impact of fossil fuel production on climate change.

“We are increasing renewables in support of our business, making targeted investments and establishing partnerships as we evaluate emerging sources of energy and the role they will play in our portfolio,” said Andy Walz, president of Americas products for Chevron.

Chevron is also part of another renewable natural gas JV, CalBioGas LLC, that last month announced its first successful production from dairy farms in Kern County.

Reporting by Shradha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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