Koreans launch initiative to explore offshore CO2 storage potential
Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) is taking part in a national initiative to explore and identify potential CO2 storage sites within waters around the Korean peninsula.
KNOC announced on December 26 that it was embarking on a full-scale exploration to secure underground storage of carbon dioxide offshore Korea expected to lay the groundwork for the development of a national carbon capture and storage (CCS) project.
The company is participating alongside seven organizations, including the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, Hanyang University, and SK Earthon, in the national project to secure domestic carbon dioxide storage.
The “Securing Large-Scale Commercial CO2 Storage Sites in the Korean Peninsula through Comprehensive 2D∙3D Geophysical Exploration and Computational Reprocessing” project is hosted by the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and exclusively managed by the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning.
The goal of the initiative is to explore the East, West, and South Seas surrounding the Korean peninsula to assess the CO2 storage capacity of these regions, as well as to enhance the data gathered from past oil field explorations and conduct additional exploration of areas that lack data, aiming to identify promising CO2 storage sites.
The Hanyang University team will assume the role of the primary research institution and oversee the execution of the project. Public sector entities such as the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources and KNOC, along with academic institutions including Seoul National University, Yonsei University, and Inha University, as well as the expertise of supercomputing firm CoCoLink Corp., are actively involved in the project’s implementation.
SK Earthon is developing criteria for selecting CO2 storage sites. The company established a dedicated CCS organization in 2021 and is currently developing CCS business development in the U.S., Australia, and Southeast Asia, and is also participating in national projects in South Korea to promote CCS commercialization and CO2 reduction.
“Based on the technology and experience accumulated through domestic and foreign oil development over the past 40 years, we will actively contribute to achieving the national carbon reduction goal by successfully promoting this national project and the East Sea Gas Field CCS demonstration project,” said KNOC CEO Kim Dong-seop.
In line with the Korean government’s 1st National Carbon Neutral and Green Growth Basic Plan, announced in March, the goal of greenhouse gas reduction through CCS is set at 4.8 million tons annually by 2030. To achieve national carbon neutrality by 2050, it is necessary to sequester 1 billion tons of CO2 in the seabed, therefore requiring the identification of large-capacity storage sites that guarantee economic feasibility and safety, according to SK Earthon.
The anticipated completion of the national project to secure CO2 storage on the Korean peninsula is by December 2026.