CO2 instead of oil: Indonesia to store carbon dioxide in the depleted fields
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The Indonesian Oil Company Pertamina and the Japanese Trading House Mitsui have started development of a feasibility study for a joint project on the CO2 capture, storage and transportation, which is expected to reach its commercial stage in 2025-2029. The project will be implemented in the depleted Duri and Minas fields in Sumatra, the second largest island in the Indian Ocean.

The photo is sourced from gtpsrl.eu

Depletion of the Duri and Minas fields discovered in 1941 and 1944, respectively, has been one of the reasons for the oil production decline in Indonesia. Oil production was 876 thousand barrels per day (bpd) in 2016 but it dropped to 781 thousand bpd in 2019 and 660 thousand bpd in 2021. However, emptying of the underground reservoirs makes it possible to use the fields for carbon dioxide injection, which is supposed to come, as part of the project, from the industrial plants in Indonesia and Japan. When preparing the feasibility study, the Mitsui and Pertamina companies must determine the ways of further monetisation of the CO2 to be stored underground. Eleven companies (including such petrochemical giants as INEOS and Dow Chemical) in the United States are currently making efforts to solve a similar problem. They are going to build a hub in Houston, which is supposed to allow a simultaneous storage of 50 million tons of carbon dioxide by 2030.

The Mitsui and Pertamina project will help reduce the carbon footprint in Indonesia, which plans to reduce CO2 emissions by 29% by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2060. Japan, along with the U.S. and the European Union, is going to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

The key role in the power industry of Indonesia still belongs to coal-fired power plants: in 2020, coal (66%) significantly outpaced gas (19%), oil products (2%) and renewable sources, including hydropower (13%) in terms of its share in generation mix. Availability of a favourable raw material base is to a large extent explanation of a high share of coal generation: in 2021 Indonesia ranked the third in the world in lignite and steam coal production (with the global share of 8%) and the first in their exports (41%).

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