CGC Perspectives: In Conversation with Mark McDivitt

Interview with Mark McDivitt, COO, Context Labs

CGC is working with Context Labs, a software company that verifies the accuracy of data using a variety of machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities, to verify that our technology will safely and permanently sequester and store carbon dioxide underground. The technology will ingest and verify the total carbon dioxide we sequester in the ground throughout the entire lifecycle of the process. Transparency, validity, and credibility of our impact is important, and this partnership will ensure that what we claim is accurate and defensible. To explain more about CGC’s work with Context Labs, we spoke with the COO of Context Labs, Mark McDivitt.

Q: What challenge is CGC and Context Labs solving?

A: To create the highest quality carbon credit that can be irrefutably trusted. Carbon GeoCapture’s (CGC) mission is to capture and sequester carbon dioxide in unconventional rock formations, unlocking massive carbon sequestration potential at a scale greater (5-10+ gigatons per year) and a cost lower ($20-$40/ton) than previously imagined. Sequestering carbon dioxide in unconventional rock formations potentially can annually remove the amount of CO2 emissions equivalent to China and the United States combined. For every ton of CO2 sequestered, quantified, and verified, we can generate a carbon credit that CGC then can monetize in the OTC Environmental Attribute market — simultaneously generating revenue for the company while doing good for the planet. The challenge with CGC’s process is the ability to accurately track and measure these new environmental attributes. Context Labs is solving this problem through the deployment of our data fabric platform, in partnership with CGC, to ultimately generate the highest-quality carbon credit in the market.

Q: What type of information is collected, tracked, and verified for CGC?

A: CGC and Context Labs bring transparency to the data behind every carbon credit. Together we track all information from carbon capture to credit creation to the ultimate retirement of the carbon credit, including:

  • Where the carbon was captured
  • How the carbon was transported
  • When & where the carbon was stored
  • Permanence of sequestration, without negative environmental impact

Context Labs securely quantifies the sequestered CO2 and verifies the source and accuracy of the associated data, supporting CGC’s methodology and the creation of next-generation environmental attributes.

Our Immutably™ Data Fabric ingests all relevant source data from each step of the sequestration process, bringing together disparate data sets to identify relationships. Using machine learning, artificial intelligence, and distributed ledger technologies, we secure, contextualize, and transform complex data into continuously proven and trusted information. The data is then output to CLEARPath™ in line with the related methodology, and we create the environmental attribute. There’s end-to-end transparency throughout the lifecycle of the environment attribute, so the end result is irrefutable, undeniable proof that a ton of CO2e has been sequestered.

Context Labs has created the industry standard for trusted, accountable, and secure multi-source data. Immutably™ enables CGC to prove the amount of carbon dioxide it has sequestered and continuously monitor all stages of the process to ensure the successful and permanent storage of CO2. This includes:

  • Source of the carbon dioxide
  • Amount of carbon dioxide, including the:
    • Capture (monitoring of source process, volume, concentration)
    • Transport (pipeline monitoring or other transportation data sources)
    • Sequestration (injection and recovery well monitoring, downhole Raman monitoring)
    • Storage (downhole Raman monitoring, environmental/analytical data)

Q: How is the carbon dioxide measured and verified?

A: We bring together disparate data sets, identifying relationships that “connect the dots” between formerly disconnected domains. The result is an empirically trusted and quantified carbon asset (a permanent and verifiable record of stored carbon).

Every step of the process is measured and verified; from the capture of carbon to the retirement of the carbon credit, including the quantification of impact of the energy used. Our platform collects data in real time from multiple instruments, including source process monitoring, flow rate meters, and underground sensors to measure the concentration of CO2. Downhole monitoring with Raman spectrometers provides direct measurement of sequestration. Instruments are calibrated and verified as required, with appropriate record-keeping. Data from these various instruments and sensors tell a corroborated story for carbon capture and storage.

Immutably™ enables CGC to continuously ingest, encrypt, and contextualize data, rendering it as ‘Asset Grade’; effectively establishing the full provenance and veracity of the data. The platform processes assets in real time across multiple custodians, provides continuous proof of data integrity, and continuously processes digital records.

Q: Why should anyone have confidence in this process?

A: Our top-down/bottom-up reconciliation of multiple data sources provides a holistic understanding of carbon storage. This comprehensive process is the core reason the market can have a high level of confidence in the data we’ve quantified, and the reason carbon credits derived from CGC’s projects will be able to demand the highest premium in the market.

We can deliver, in real time, empirical facts derived from the data. Every step of the process is tracked and traced on a distributed ledger that can’t be altered. We continuously analyze data from various instruments and encrypt it for security purposes. We’ve developed our emissions quantification system in accordance with industry-leading protocols, including the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) Veritas Protocol, the Oil and Gas Methane Partnerships (OGMP), and the Methane Emissions Reporting Framework 2.0.

Finally, we use a third-party auditor to verify all our data.

Q: What is the significance of backing a credit with Asset Grade Data in the voluntary carbon market?

A: The significance of credits backed by Asset-Grade Data in the voluntary market is that they provide buyers with greater confidence they are purchasing high-quality (“charisma”), verifiable emissions reductions. This can be particularly important for companies looking to offset their own carbon emissions, as they face reputational and regulatory risks if they rely on credits that later turn out to be fraudulent or low quality.

By creating Asset Grade Data, the platform yields the highest quality credits and certifications of low carbon intensity energy pathways available. We enable organizations to create carbon credits and issue low-carbon intensity certificates with instrumentation-backed, multi-source contextualization and multi-party attestation.

CLEAR Path™ provides veracity and visibility across the entire lifecycle of an environmental attribute, avoiding qualitative and opaque assumptions that undermine trust in data. Advanced workflow engines enable greater transparency and eliminate manual reviews of carbon methodologies and projects, leading to faster project creation and easier review cycles.

Our technology provides support for transparent, open-source methodologies enabling flexible creation and adaptation in an evolving landscape.

Using blockchain-enabled technology and enterprise-grade security, cryptographic third-party attestations, CLEAR Path™ provides a verifiable data trail to prevent double-counting.

Through these measures, Asset Grade Data ensures the environmental attributes produced represent a genuine reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.