A landmark carbon capture and storage project at one of Indonesia’s almost-legendary legacy gas fields is eyeing start-up in 2028.

Mature hydrocarbon producer Indonesia is looking at the potential for carbon capture, storage and utilisation (CCUS) and CCS projects in tandem with driving new exploration, particularly in deep waters, thanks to revised fiscal and regulatory terms.

To advance these CCS/CCUS ambitions, a memorandum of understanding was signed in March between Aceh Development (PEMA) and Australian contractor Odin/Carbon Aceh with the aim of developing and operating carbon storage facilities and utilising depleted reservoirs at the giant Arun gas field.

Indonesia’s Director General of Oil & Gas, Tutuka Ariadji, said the country is “very serious” about developing CCS/CCUS technology and is drafting relevant legislation intended to help stimulate interest and investment into the sector.

"Indonesia is compiling a CCS/CCUS regulation [expected to be completed in the near future]… the scope of this regulation consists of technical aspects, business scenarios, legal aspects and economic aspects,” said Tutuka.

“This is a good opportunity,” he said of the proposed Arun CCS project.

PEMA and Carbon Aceh will team up to perform a feasibility study up to the development, implementation and operation of the Arun CCS project which is planned to start operating in six years’ time.

Aceh Governor Nova Iriansyah welcomed the signing of the MoU.

"I am very happy… thank you to all parties who have worked hard to realise this cooperation," he said.

"This [CCS] technology is indeed new, but this is a challenge for us to make this project a success now and in the future," said Nova.

Odin Reservoir Consultants in later 2020 proposed re-commercialising via CCS the Arun gas field in Aceh province at the northern tip of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Indonesia’s Directorate General of Oil & Gas last March declared its support for the project, both for the study work and through to commercialisation.

Storage at the giant Arun onshore field, which had initial gas in place of around 14.1 trillion cubic feet, could offer a development solution to other gas and oil fields with a high carbon dioxide content that might otherwise not be exploited.

The Arun liquefied natural gas project, for which the eponymous field provided significant feedstock volumes, has already undergone its own transformation being converted from a liquefaction facility to an LNG receiving and regasification project.