Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Pertamina, Petronas, PTTEP Race to Build Asian Carbon Storage Hubs

Southeast Asia’s three biggest national oil companies are intensifying efforts to develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) capabilities in an attempt to both decarbonize and seize opportunities in the nascent industry, their top executives say. 

Concerns over the potentially catastrophic impact of a rapidly warming planet have spurred efforts by countries to set targets for achieving zero net carbon emissions by around the middle of this century. Scientists have warned that rises in Earth’s temperature must be kept well below 2 degrees Celsius — and preferably under 1.5 degrees as stipulated in the Paris climate accords — versus preindustrial levels. CCS and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) are seen as ways to reduce the negative effects of fossil fuel use. 

Malaysian state-owned energy producer Petronas on Monday signed an agreement with French oil major TotalEnergies and Japanese trading house Mitsui to jointly develop a CCS project in Malaysia. The signing took place on the sidelines of the Energy Asia 2023 conference in Kuala Lumpur. 

The partners will “evaluate” several potential carbon dioxide storage sites in the Malay Basin, including saline aquifers and depleted offshore fields, with an aim “to develop a CO2 merchant storage service to decarbonize industrial customers in Asia,” according to a joint news release. 

Tengku Muhammad Taufik, president and group CEO of Petronas, said the latest partnership shows the company’s commitment to positioning “Malaysia as a regional CCS hub to capture opportunities in the energy transition,” while reducing the carbon footprint of Petronas’ operations. 

The latest partnership is one of a number of ongoing Petronas CCS projects, Adif Zulkifli, executive vice president and CEO of the company’s upstream business, told an Energy Asia session on Tuesday. 

These include the Kasawari CCS project off the state of Sarawak in the South China Sea, which Zulkifli called “one of the largest offshore CCS projects that any company has ever embarked on.” He said Petronas hopes to do its first CO2 injection at the Kawasari site by early 2026, with a planned CO2 injection capacity of 3.3 million tonnes per annum. 

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