China’s second largest energy company Sinopec completed a new carbon capture storage (CCS) project in eastern China’s Jiangsu province, as part of its larger plan to implement a CCS-based enhanced oil recovery progamme.

The new unit, built at Sinopec Nanjing Chemical in Nanjing city, captures carbon dioxide emitted from synthetic ammonia units and coal-to-gas units for re-injection into oil reservoirs to enhance oil recovery (EOR) at the Jiangsu field.

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It follows two similar units that have already been installed at Sinopec Nanjing Chemical. The units are designed to capture 200,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum, which is transported by truck to the Jiangsu oilfield for injection into the Huangqiao oil play.

The EOR scheme at is anticipated scale up production at the field by 1320 barrels per day.

Sinopec said that it will convert the depleting Huangqiao play into an underground cavern to store CO2 over the next five years.

Through the recovery and utilisation of high-concentration CO2 tail gas from refining and chemical operations, the Sinopec aims to reduce its methane emissions from oil and gas production by 50% by 2025.

Sinopec, led by chairman Ma Yongsheng, is also applying coal-to-gas CO2 capture technology at its Shengli field in eastern China’s Shandong province, with capture capacity of 700,000 tonnes per annum.

It is already operating a 100-tonnes-per-day CCS and EOR integrated project at its Shengli power plan. The captured CO2 with 99.5% purity is injected into low-permeability reservoirs at the Shengli field for EOR and sequestration.

This has seen Shengli’s oil recovery rise by 15% where the technology is applied, and CO2 emissions have been cut by 30,000 tpa.

Sinopec is now implementing 24 CO2 EOR projects in China that have a total of 25 million tonnes of oil in place as part of its ambition to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The company's target of net-zero emissions by 2050 is significant as Sinopec is the world’s top refiner, with nameplate crude-distillation capacity exceeding 6 million barrels per day.