Photo: The MoU signing parties Adif Zulkifli (right), Petronas Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Upstream and Shane Harris (left), President and Chairman, ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Malaysia; Source: Petronas

ExxonMobil and Petronas pool resources for CCS study in Malaysia

Oil major ExxonMobil has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Malaysian state-owned company Petronas to explore potential carbon capture and storage technologies projects in Malaysia.

ExxonMobil reported on Monday that the two companies intend to examine carbon capture and storage projects in Peninsular Malaysia. They will work together to identify suitable carbon storage and transport technology to help support Malaysia’s goals to reduce carbon emissions.

Adif Zulkifi, Petronas executive vice president and chief executive officer of Upstream, explained: “This collaboration is an important step to unlock the opportunities and potential of CCS in Malaysia through applied technologies and innovation, potentially helping us reach our net-zero carbon emissions aspirations amidst an evolving energy landscape.”

ExxonMobil and Petronas will assess the viability of carbon capture projects in select locations offshore Peninsular Malaysia and share subsurface technical and infrastructure data for pipelines, facilities and wells. This will be done while they evaluate potential projects for the storage, transport and reutilisation of captured CO2.

“Petronas and ExxonMobil share a long-standing relationship that has seen multiple successful collaborations and business ventures between the two parties in Malaysia and abroad. We are proud of our collaboration with ExxonMobil and look forward to achieving a shared ambition of delivering energy security and clean energy solutions,” added Zulkifi.

According to Petronas, the MoU was signed and formalised on 3 November 2021. Petronas’ executive vice president and CEO of Upstream, Adif Zulkifli signed it with Shane Harris, ExxonMobil’s president and chairman.

Petronas claims this MoU supports its continuous efforts to efficiently produce and optimise its oil and gas assets to generate the resources to fund growth, facilitate progress and decarbonise and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also aims to position and establish Malaysia as a leading CCS solutions hub in the region.

Petronas’ efforts to build a resilient and sustainable portfolio to support the transition towards low-to-zero carbon energy sources include developing, testing, and piloting a suite of technologies at its first offshore CCS project set for CO2 injection in 2025.

This agreement is the ninth carbon capture and storage opportunity that ExxonMobil has announced since establishing its Low Carbon Solutions business in March 2021 to commercialize low-emission technologies.

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The others are in Houston, Texas; LaBarge, Wyoming; Edmonton, Canada; St Fergus, UK; Fife, UK; Normandy, France; Russia and Indonesia. An MoU regarding the exploration of the potential for large-scale deployment of low-carbon technologies in Indonesia was signed last week with Indonesian state-owned company Pertamina.

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These are in addition to previously announced projects in Qatar; Antwerp, Belgium; Rotterdam, Netherlands; and Australia.

Currently, Low Carbon Solutions is focusing its carbon capture and storage efforts on capturing CO2 from industrial activity that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere and injecting it into deep underground geologic formations for safe, secure and permanent storage.

It aims to pursue strategic investments in biofuels and hydrogen to bring those lower-emissions energy technologies to scale for hard-to-decarbonize sectors of the economy.

Joe Blommaert, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions, commented: “ExxonMobil continues to explore opportunities in Southeast Asia for large-scale carbon capture and storage projects that have the potential to make the greatest impact in the highest-emitting sectors. With joint collaboration and well-designed policies, we can use our capabilities to develop projects that progress reliable, safe and ready-to-deploy technologies at a scale that could significantly reduce emissions throughout Malaysia.”

The projections of the International Energy Agency (IEA) show that carbon capture and storage could mitigate up to 15 per cent of global emissions by 2040.

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates global decarbonization efforts could be twice as costly without its wide-scale deployment.