NRG, JX Nippon in CCS JV to boost oil flows

Japan’s JX Nippon and NRG Energy of the US are teaming up for a carbon capture project that is set to increase production at US oilfields.

The two have formed a joint venture to build and operate the $1 billion Petra Nova Carbon Capture project south-west of Houston, Texas.

The project is set to capture 90% of CO2 in processed flue gas from an existing coal plant in WA Parish, Fort Bend County, its operators hailing it as “the world’s largest post-combustion carbon capture facility at an existing coal plant”.

The project is being built by Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and The Industrial Company (TIC). Construction will take two years and it is expected to be operational at the end of 2016.

The project intends to capture approximately 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 per annum that will be compressed and piped to the West Ranch oilfield, jointly owned by the two companies’ joint venture and US player Hilcorp.

It is hoped that the enhanced oil recovery technique will boost production at the field from 500 barrels per day to 15,000 bpd.

NRG chief executive David Crane said: “Our objective is simple: we want to continue to provide safe, affordable and reliable power to our customers, but without risking the health of the planet as a result of our activities.

“This project is an enormous step in that direction, plus it continues the trend of enhancing domestic oil production; thus further reducing our national dependence on foreign sources of oil.”

The partners said West Ranch is the initial field being targeted for the project, meaning others may be in the offing.

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