Malaysian state-run oil giant Petronas has partnered with Japan Petroleum Exploration (Japex) to pursue carbon capture and storage (CCS) opportunities.

The pair signed a memorandum of understanding late last week that will see the two companies carry out technical maturation activities to unlock potential CCS solutions, including suitable carbon dioxide storage locations in Malaysia.

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Petronas added this work would include evaluating optimal capture, storage and transportation methods, as well as estimation of emissions, capture volumes and monitoring methods of CO2 stored underground.

The two companies will also look at methods to capture and transport CO2 from Petronas’ liquefied natural gas complex in Bintulu.

Petronas is hoping to leverage Japex’s experience with the Tomakomai CCS Demonstration Project in Hokkaido, Japan.

Tomakomai is Japan’s first full-chain CCS project that captured roughly 100,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum from a coastal oil refinery from 2016-2019 and stored it in two nearby offshore saline aquifers for storage and monitoring.

The Tomakomai CCS test site in Japan's Hokkaido prefecture Photo: RETUERS/SCANPIX

The chief executive of Petronas' upstream operations, Adif Zulkifli said the partnership with Japan’s Japex would help position Malaysia “as a leading CCS solutions hub in the region”.

“This collaboration allows Petronas to leverage Japex’s experience in the Tomakomai CCS Demonstration Project,” he added.

“We are confident that it will bring about valuable contributions in the Technical Maturation Study to unlock CCS potential in the country.”

It marks the latest collaboration pact Petronas has signed as it pursues CCS as a technology to help it reach its goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Earlier this month it signed a joint study and collaboration agreement with the local Malaysian unit of European supermajor Shell to explore CCS opportunities and project collaborations.

Petronas also inked an MoU last month with South Korean companies Posco International Corporation and Posco Engineering & Construction to collaborate on potential CCS opportunities.

It also signed an agreement with French engineering and technology company Technip Energies late last year to further the commercialisation of carbon capture technologies.

Petronas is already pursuing a CCS project as part of the second phase of development of its giant Kasawari field.

Upstream reported last month that the Malaysian operator had issued invitations to bid for the front-end engineering and design work for phase two of Kasawari, which will focus on capturing the field's carbon dioxide and injecting it into a nearby depleted offshore reservoir.

Petronas plans to commence the first injection of CO2 by the end of 2025 and, once operational, the project is expected to reduce CO2 volumes emitted via flaring by a total of 76 million tonnes over expected field life, with an annual average saving of 3.7 million tonnes per annum.

The final investment decision for Kasawari phase two is being targeted for later this year.