You are here:

Sharing a common goal, lithium refining company Stardust Power is partnering with the oil and gas industry to work towards a cleaner, greener and mutually beneficial future.

As the global focus on sustainable energy intensifies, the quest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition away from carbon-intensive energy sources has never been more critical. While renewable energy technologies such as solar, wind, and hydropower have been highlighted, another pivotal player has emerged: lithium.

Lithium is critical to energy storage as a key component of batteries. Often perceived as unrelated from the traditional oil and gas industry, lithium refining and fossil fuels can, in fact, form a symbiotic partnership to drive the energy transition in the US.

Stardust Power is a leader in the development of battery-grade lithium products for America’s clean energy future. Stardust Power expects to build one of the largest, lithium refineries in the US. One of its sources of lithium feedstock is partnering with the oil and gas industry to recover the lithium value from brine or well water.

This article explores the potential benefits and opportunities for collaboration between lithium refining and the oil and gas industry in the US. The transition to a renewable energy economy requires innovative solutions and collaboration across industries to lessen the dependence on fossil fuels while leveraging existing infrastructure.

The oil and gas industry and the lithium refining industry share a common goal

At first glance, the oil and gas industry and the lithium refining industry might seem like opposing forces, given their associations with fossil fuels and clean energy, respectively.

However, a deeper examination reveals that both sectors share a common goal: securing America’s energy future while reducing long-term environmental harm.

The oil and gas industry, which has been established for over a century, possesses extensive infrastructure, technical expertise, and a well-established supply chain, while lithium refining offers a pathway to lower carbon emissions in energy storage and transportation applications.

By harnessing the strengths of both sectors, a powerful synergy can be unleashed to drive the nation’s transition to a low-carbon emission economy.

Lithium has the potential to be produced from water at oil field brines

Many oil and gas producers have been producing oil field brines that can be rich in lithium. Many of the geologic formations that produce oil and gas also have high concentrations of lithium. This lithium may have gone untested and unnoticed previously. Producers have been recycling this water for their exploration purposes or reinjecting this water.

In partnership with Stardust Power, lithium may be extracted from the produced water. Creating lithium from recycling wastewater is an ideal source as it has lower exploration costs and is more sustainable as it is recycling produced brine.

Roshan Pujari, Stardust Power’s CEO, said: “Stardust Power will partner with the oil and gas industry to find unique and cost-effective sources to power America’s energy transition.”

Utilizing existing infrastructure

One of the most significant advantages of a partnership between the oil and gas industry with lithium refining is the ability to utilise existing infrastructure.

Oil and gas companies have vast networks of refineries, pipelines, and distribution channels that can be repurposed for processing and transporting lithium containing water also commonly referred to as brine or produced water.

By repurposing infrastructure, the industry can significantly reduce the time and costs required to establish new facilities for lithium extraction and refining. This strategy accelerates the transition and leverages the oil and gas industry’s established footprint for the greater good.

Diversifying revenue streams

The volatility of global energy markets has pushed many oil and gas companies to explore diversification strategies. Incorporating lithium sourcing into their portfolio provides an opportunity to create new revenue streams while aligning with the clean energy transition.

As electric vehicle (EV) adoption increases, demand for lithium-ion batteries surges, opening up a lucrative market for energy storage solutions.

By diversifying into lithium sourcing, oil and gas companies can tap into this burgeoning market and ensure their long-term viability in a rapidly changing energy landscape.

Stardust Power is the ideal partner for oil and gas producers, potentially creating a new revenue stream by refining lithium from existing oil field brines.

Expertise in resource extraction and management

The oil and gas industry possesses invaluable expertise in resource extraction and management, which can be applied to lithium refining.

Techniques for exploration, drilling, and reservoir management that have been honed over decades can be adapted to efficiently extract lithium from geological formations.

Furthermore, oil and gas companies have an intricate understanding of environmental regulations, health and safety protocols, and community engagement – all critical aspects of responsible mining and refining practices.

Leveraging this expertise can ensure that lithium refining operations adhere to the highest standards of environmental stewardship and social responsibility. The use of lithium brines over traditional hard rock sources have a much smaller environmental footprint  than open-pit mining, with much lower waste generation, a low carbon intensity production process, and minimal surface land disruption.

Transitioning the workforce

A successful transition to a clean energy future requires not only technological adaptation but also the smooth transition of the workforce.

By partnering with the oil and gas industry, which employs skilled professionals in engineering, geology, and logistics, the lithium refining sector can tap into a pool of experienced talent.

This partnership ensures that valuable expertise is retained, preventing potential job losses and supporting the growth of the clean energy sector. Stardust Power provides a new generation of energy jobs for the US.

A partnership between the oil and gas industry and lithium refining is crucial

The energy transition is a complex journey that demands innovative solutions and collaborative efforts from various sectors.

While the oil and gas industry and the lithium industry may appear disparate, their common commitments to shaping a more sustainable energy future are converging.

By forging a partnership that leverages existing infrastructure, expertise, and a skilled workforce, these two industries can accelerate America’s transition to cleaner energy sources while also sharing the large opportunity.