Companies used carbon credits created in oil extraction projects

The sun sets beyond an oil pumping unit, also known as a pumping jack, at a drilling site operated by Tatneft OAO near Almetyevsk, Russia.

Enlarge / The sun sets beyond an oil pumping unit, also known as a pumping jack, at a drilling site operated by Tatneft OAO near Almetyevsk, Russia. (credit: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

Daimler Trucks, eBay and a US energy company were among the recent buyers of carbon offsets created by projects that involved injecting carbon dioxide underground in order to extract more oil.

Three US-based extraction projects were eligible to generate credits because their processes involved the capture of CO2. But this was used as a way to extract fresh oil that would otherwise have been inaccessible, a procedure known as “enhanced oil recovery” (EOR).

The offsetting rules that the credits were created under ignored the emissions associated with the extracted oil.

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