LONDON (Reuters) - A $1 billion(£0.76 billion) fund created by top energy companies to curb climate change announced its first three investments on Friday and said two new members could be poised join the scheme.
The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) was set up last year and includes Saudi Aramco IPO-ARMO.SE and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L).
Pratima Rangarajan, OGCI chief executive, said she expected more companies to join and that Brazil’s Petrobras (PETR4.SA) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) were among those interested.
“They are potentially joining and were observing today,” she said in an interview with Reuters.
Together, the 10 firms produce around 20 percent of the world’s oil and gas and last year pledged to invest $1 billion over 10 years on technologies to curb climate change.
Rangarajan said new members would be expected to pledge a further $100 million each.
In the first investments, U.S. firm Solidia Technologies will receive funding for making cement with carbon dioxide instead of water, potentially lowering emissions by 70 percent and water use by 80 percent, the OGCI said.
It will also help U.S.-based Achates Power, which develops vehicle engines that produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions, to roll out its technology worldwide.
Financial details were not revealed.
Neither of the U.S. oil majors, Exxon (XOM.N) or Chevron (CVX.N), are a part of the initiative. Rangarajan said the location of its members was not a factor in deciding where investments would be made.
“We have to be open to looking anywhere in the world for the best ideas,” she said.
The OGCI also plans to help design a full-scale gas power plant with carbon capture and storage technology (CCS), although it did not specify where the project would be built, or how much funding would be allocated.
The International Energy Association (IEA) said CCS technology is vital if the target to limit a global rise in temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius, as set out in the Paris climate agreement, is to be met.
However, CCS project developers have struggled to bring down costs. There are currently fewer than 40 large-scale CCS projects globally and the majority of these are pilot schemes.
Additional reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic; Editing by Jason Neely and David Holmes