National oil company Petronas has identified more than 46 trillion cubic feet of potential storage in depleted gas reservoirs offshore Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak that could be used to sequester carbon dioxide produced from about 23 trillion cubic feet of Malaysian gas resources that have yet to be developed.

Petronas’ upstream activities are forecast to require some 60% of the carbon capture and would be available as early as 2028,” says Wan Atikahsari Wan Zakaria, senior manager, Sarawak resource development and management at Petronas.

This timeline could synchronise with the development of fields discovered on acreage awarded in the ongoing Malaysia Bid Round 2022.

The first cluster, in the northern part of the basin, has three potential storage sites with more than 6 Tcf of capacity.

The second cluster, in the basin’s central area, is projected to be available for storage “beyond 2030” and has estimated capacity of almost 1 Tcf, according to Atikahsari.

The third cluster, in the southern part of the Malay basin, has estimated storage capacity of up to 2 Tcf.

Offshore Sarawak also has significant carbon storage capacity in depleted reservoirs, which is fortunate as high CO2 fields are expected to make up half of the state’s production in 2030.

“Sarawak has plenty of large gas fields that have been producing for the past decades. Most of these fields are carbonate with good porosity and permeability, making them ideal sites for CO2 storage — especially in the Central Luconia province,” Atikahsari says.

Four clusters have been identified as carbon storage sites offshore Sarawak.

The M1 site in the M Cluster, in the north-west of the province, has potential capacity of some 8 Tcf and will be the first to be developed.

The other clusters are B Cluster, which is forecast to be available in early 2030; F Cluster, with estimated potential storage capacity of close to 11 Tcf; and Cluster 4.

“[Cluster 4] recently was identified near to shore… about 50 kilometres from Bintulu. This would pave the way to the possibility of storing CO2 captured onshore [such as from the Petronas LNG Complex],” Atikahsari adds.

“Beyond these identified clusters, Petronas is actively studying saline aquifers to appraise more storage sites in this region,” she says.

“Large volume, high permeability formations with high CO2 injectivity potential are important resources for CCS.”

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