In what industry observers say is the first purchase of greenhouse gas emissions credits by a US oil company, Murphy Oil USA Inc. has agreed to buy credits for up to 210,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, to offset its increasing volume of emissions, from Canadian energy firm TransAlta Corp.
"We think this is the first such transaction by an oil company," said Evan Ard, spokesman for NatSource LLC, a New York energy brokerage firm. Murphy's volume of emissions of greenhouse gases has increased from its production operations and its two US refineries but not as a percentage of output, the company explained. It is voluntarily participating in efforts to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases through the market-based approach of emissions trading.
Prices of the CO2 credit range from $1 to $3.50/tonne, said Ard. "This is a precompliance market. The price is low now but will go up as the risk of not buying the credits increases on the buyer's side."