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ExxonMobil Indonesia and Pertamina to evaluate carbon capture and storage

ExxonMobil Indonesia, a subsidiary of US-headed ExxonMobil Corporation (ExxonMobil), one of the largest publicly traded international energy companies, and PT Pertamina, the state-owned energy company for Indonesia, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to evaluate the potential for large-scale deployment of low-carbon technologies in Indonesia. The MoU was signed near Glasgow, Scotland, where world leaders have gathered to discuss climate policies during COP 26.

On November 1, 2021, the President of ExxonMobil Indonesia, Irtiza H. Sayyed (second left), and the President Director of Pertamina, Nicke Widyawati (fourth left) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to evaluate the potential for large-scale deployment of low-carbon technologies including carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) in Indonesia. Held in conjunction with the UN COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, the signing was witnessed by the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment of the Republic of Indonesia, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto, Minister of SOEs Erick Thohir, and Deputy Minister SOE, Pahala N. Mansury, and Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Arifin Tasrif (photo courtesy Pertamina).

The MoU strengthens a decades-long strategic partnership between ExxonMobil and Pertamina and has the objective of advancing Indonesia’s net-zero ambitions.

We are evaluating large-scale carbon capture and storage projects that have the potential to make the greatest impact in the highest-emitting sectors around the world, and there are opportunities in Indonesia and throughout Southeast Asia. With well-designed policies and industry collaboration, we can move forward with reliable, safe, and ready-to-deploy technologies at scale that can help governments achieve game-changing emissions reductions, said Joe Blommaert, President of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions.

ExxonMobil established its Low Carbon Solutions business to commercialize low-emission technologies. It is initially focusing its carbon capture and storage efforts on point-source emissions, the process of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial activity that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere and injecting it into deep underground geologic formations for safe, secure, and permanent storage.

The business is also pursuing strategic investments in biofuels and hydrogen to bring those lower-emissions energy technologies to scale for hard-to-decarbonize sectors of the global economy.

ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions is evaluating several other carbon capture and storage projects around the world, including in Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Normandy, France; LaBarge, Wyoming (WY); and Houston, Texas (TX). The company has an equity share in approximately one-fifth of global CO2 capture capacity and has captured approximately 40 percent of all the captured anthropogenic CO2 in the world.

In line with national GHG reduction targets

For Pertamina, the MoU is in line with President Joko Widodo’s direction to transform businesses towards a green economy, and Pertamina says that it is pursuing the Government’s target of reducing 29 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 with its own efforts and 41 percent with international assistance.

In addition, the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) has also introduced a sustainable policy, dubbed”Eco Lifestyle,” that aims to create a better place for the future generation of Indonesians through green energy initiatives.

To support this step, the Ministry of SOEs encourages Pertamina to collaborate with various parties including global companies in the development of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies.

This CCUS collaboration is an important partnership to reduce the effect of greenhouse gases and increase the national oil gas production capacity, said Minister of SOE Erick Thohir.

The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, appreciated and supported these efforts by encouraging cooperation between Pertamina and ExxonMobil in the application of low-carbon technology and CCUS. This collaboration will strengthen the sustainable strategic partnership between Pertamina and ExxonMobil, which has existed since the 1970s in the upstream sector and the downstream sector.

The opportunities that the two companies are evaluating in Indonesia, coupled with the right government policies and industry collaboration, will have the potential to make the greatest impact in the highest-emitting sectors not just in Indonesia but also in Southeast Asia, Minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan said.

In terms of reducing emissions, in the upstream sector, Pertamina has initiated several CCUS projects in the oil and gas field with the potential to reduce carbon dioxide up to 18 million tonnes.

The application of CCUS technology is part of Pertamina’s energy transition to a cleaner energy agenda. This low-carbon technology will support Pertamina’s business sustainability in the future, said President Director of PT Pertamina (Persero) Nicke Widyawati.

Apply CCS in depleted reservoirs

The companies have agreed to assess the potential for technologies such as CCUS, and low-carbon hydrogen (aka blue hydrogen). Together with ExxonMobil, Pertamina aims to apply CCS technology to depleted reservoirs in Pertamina’s working area, as well as assess the potential for hubs and cluster schemes.

By jointly examining subsurface data, the companies expect to identify geologic formations deep underground that could be suitable to safely store CO2, and the potential for safe, commercially viable utilization of CO2.

The two companies will also review the sharing of infrastructure data including, pipelines, facilities, and wells data, to evaluate the reuse of existing infrastructure for transportation.

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