Vitol Among Companies Seeking California Carbon Offset Credits

Vitol SA, the world’s largest closely held oil trader, was one of four companies that submitted emissions-reducing projects to California regulators this past month to qualify for early-offsets credits.

Vitol, a Geneva-based energy trader, proposed a plan to destroy ozone-depleting substances from plants in Texas and California, according to information posted on the air board’s website. CE2 California II LLC, TerraPass Inc. and Camco International Group Inc. also filed applications.

Vitol is the first oil-trading company to list a project on the state’s website for potential early-action credits. Royal Dutch Shell Plc agreed in March to buy credits generated from a project being developed by Forestland Group and Blue Source. The air board is currently considering credits for 44 emissions-cutting efforts.

Mary Nichols, the board’s chairman, said at a conference April 18 that the agency will issue the first carbon offsets “soon,” while declining to specify a date. The credits can be used by companies to cover up to 8 percent of their emissions compliance.

Contracts based on California offset credits, each allowing the release of one metric ton of carbon, slipped 13 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $11.63 a ton today, data compiled by environmental broker Evolution Markets showed. Prices for “Golden” offsets, which come with a seller guarantee to replace any invalidated credits, were up 13 cents, or 1.1 percent, from a month ago, according to White Plains, New York-based Evolution.

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