Indonesia Moves Ahead with CCS Talks with US Oil Majors, Eyes Petrochemical Project

Credit:  faishalabdula/AdobeStock
Credit: faishalabdula/AdobeStock

Indonesia's state energy company Pertamina and U.S. oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp. are moving ahead with their discussions to invest in carbon capture facilities, while Exxon eyes a petrochemical project in the country.

Pertamina and Exxon agreed to carry out further evaluations for $2 billion in investments in carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities using two underground basins in the Java Sea, Pertamina said in a statement on Tuesday.

The CCS hub with Exxon has the potential to store at least 3 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide emitted by industries in Indonesia and the rest of the region, Pertamina Chief Executive Nicke Widyawati said. 

Jack Williams, senior vice president at Exxon Mobil, said Exxon and Pertamina have the potential to reduce emissions and support economic growth in Indonesia. 

The agreements were signed during Indonesian President Joko Widodo's visit to Washington to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden, ahead of the APEC meetings in San Francisco this week. 

The deals show the Indonesian government and other stakeholders are "ready to utilize Indonesia's CCS potential for the advancement of low-carbon industries, investment, and job creation for the Indonesian people," said Jodi Mahardi, a senior government official.

Indonesia wants to use its depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs for carbon storage and is finalizing a regulation that would open up storage schemes for carbon from abroad to be stored in the country.

The Southeast Asian country has storage capacity of 8 gigatonnes of carbon in the depleted reservoirs, while an additional 400 gigatonnes of capacity is available if it utilizes its saline aquifers.

During the same trip, Pertamina, through three of its units, also agreed to share information with Chevron to potentially develop either CCS or carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) sites in East Kalimantan.

The information may include geological and geophysical data, maps and commercial information, and other items.

Pertamina, Chevron, and the United Arab Emirates' Mubadala Energy also signed a joint study deal to explore geothermal potential in Indonesia's North Sulawesi.

A unit of Exxon also signed an initial deal with the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investment Affairs to explore investment in a petrochemical project in Indonesia to produce polymers.   

(Reuters - Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy and Bernadette Christina; Editing by Tom Hogue and Christian Schmollinger)

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