Indonesian Government-backed oil company Pertamina and ExxonMobil are set to conduct appraisal drilling for a CCS hub in Indonesia, reported Reuters.  

This initiative aligns with Indonesia’s strategy to utilise its depleted oil and gas reservoirs and saline aquifers for storing CO₂, with the potential capacity for hundreds of gigatonnes. 

During the Indonesia Petroleum Association (IPA) annual conference, the companies signed an agreement outlining preliminary work to design a commercial model for the Asri Basin Project CCS hub.  

Pertamina Hulu Energi CEO Awang Lazuardi said: “Pertamina Hulu Energi and ExxonMobil will carry out appraisal drilling in order to collect data, which will later become a reference for the development of the hub.”  

A joint study by Pertamina and ExxonMobil revealed that the Asri basin, located in Pertamina’s Offshore South East Sumatra block, could store up to three gigatonnes of carbon dioxide and would necessitate an investment of approximately $2bn (Rp31.82trn). 

In addition to the appraisal drilling plans, Pertamina and ExxonMobil have entered into a framework agreement with South Korea’s KNOC.  

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Pertamina CEO Nicke Widyawati stated that this partnership allows KNOC to join the project and inject emissions into the facility. 

The CCS initiative comes after Indonesia launched its first oil and gas auction of the year, offering five blocks to stimulate exploration and address the country’s declining production.  

Out of 128 hydrocarbon basins in Indonesia, 68 remain unexplored. 

Separately, ExxonMobil has made a new oil discovery off the coast of Angola in Block 15.  

The Likembe-01 well, part of the Kizomba B development area and operated by ExxonMobil alongside partners Azule Energy, Equinor and Sonangol, was drilled to a depth of 3,013m and encountered Miocene-age reservoirs.