Indonesia’s national oil company Pertamina has launched a feasibility study for an ambitious carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) and enhanced gas recovery (EGR) project at its Gundih field onshore Central Java, Indonesia.

Pertamina has teamed up with Japanese trio JGC, J-Power and Janus and the Bandung Institute of Technology to collaborate on a joint study agreement to study the implementation of CCUS and EGR.

The Gundih project is one of Pertamina’s stated initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and has the potential to slash emissions by 300,000 tonnes per annum of carbon dioxide — or 3 million tonnes over a decade — while also having the potential to boost gas production at the onshore field.

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The stored CO2 will be stated as carbon credits that will be shared between the governments of Indonesia and Japan.

The feasibility study is scheduled for completion in February next year and Pertamina envisages the front-end engineering and design and engineering, procurement and construction phases running from 2022 to 2024.

The Gundih CCUS/EGR project could then start commercial operations in 2026.

“We are mandated to conduct Pertamina’s transition from an oil and gas company to an energy company where we will enhance our portfolio, and energy mix from new and renewable energy and the CO2 emission reduction for decarbonisation,” said Dannif Danusaputro, chief executive of the company’s power and new and renewable energy division.

Decarbonisation drive

Pertamina is drawing up a decarbonisation roadmap and CCUS is at the heart of these plans, reported the Jakarta Post.

The Indonesian government has pledged to reduce greenhouse emissions by 29% — or 41% with international assistance — by 2030.

“Persistent dependence on fossil fuels means that CCS could be central to realising emission reductions from Indonesia's energy and industrial sectors,” said the Asian Development Bank that had supported earlier study work into a touted pilot scheme at Gundih.

“Indonesia's geology makes it uniquely suitable for deploying CCS technology, with several depleted oil and gas fields that could serve as suitable subsurface storage sites for CO2.

“Considering these potential storage sites along with existing and planned large CO2 point sources suggests that CCS could account for up to 40% of the power sector's (greenhouse gas) emissions reductions.

"CCS also provides a pathway for development of Indonesia's high-CO2 natural gas fields while avoiding any consequential increase in (greenhouse gas) emissions,” added the ADB.

CCS potential

In 2010, the bank initiated a study of the potential for CCS in Indonesia, which revealed strong CCS potential in the south Sumatra region, among others.

It found that the most cost-effective near-term opportunities were in the natural gas processing sector and the largest long-term emissions reduction potential would be from capture at gas and coal-fired power generation plants.

Pertamina, the ADB and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) three years later signed a memorandum of understanding to conduct a detailed feasibility study for a pilot CCS plant at an existing central gas processing plant in Gundih.

JICA supported the subsurface investigation while the ADB supported the pilot design and review of Indonesia's legal regulatory framework for CCS.

At Gundih, the proposed pilot project envisaged facilities being constructed to capture the CO2 waste gas, remove residual sulphur and moisture, liquefy the CO2 and store it while awaiting transport.

The CO2 would then be transported by truck between the collection site at Gundih and the Jepon-1 exploration well injection site, so the project will require the construction of loading and unloading facilities at both locations and possible improvements to the 44-kilometre stretch of existing road to be used for transport, the ADB noted.