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Reuters suggests some carbon could be removed from storage to be converted into methanol, as well as other feedstocks for low-carbon fuels.

By Callum Cyrus

Pertamina revealed May 17 it has signed a joint study agreement with industrial gases supplier Air Liquide to look at building a carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) facility at its oil refinery in Balikpapan.

The CCU plant would enable carbon to be removed and compressed from the 260,000 barrel/day refinery, located in East Kalimantan province. The carbon would potentially be relocated to an excavated area in the Kutai basin and rapidly deployed to produce blue hydrogen, as well as  low-carbon feedstocks such as methanol.

Under the JSA, Air Liquide and Pertamina will investigate CO2 synthetic gas and flue gas capture technologies as potential solutions for CCU at Balikpapan's hydrogen production cluster.

Indonesia has vowed to achieve net zero by 2060, ten years later than many developed countries. Before the end of the decade, it aims to reduce business-derived GHG emissions by 29%.

To meet these goals, Pertamina is accelerating its decarbonisation strategy, often working in tandem with Western majors. It hopes to reduce GHG emissions by 30% on 2010 levels by 2030, and has said renewables will represent 17.7% of its energy output.

In 2010, the Indonesian oil giant's GHG emissions total was around 25mn metric tons of COequivalent, of which 15.4mn mt was derived from its oil refineries.

Days ago, Pertamina entered a carbon capture, utilisation and storage study with US major ExxonMobil, aimed at implementing the technology across three oil and gas fields in South Sumatra, East Kalimantan and West Java. Another US major, Chevron, on May 12 entered an MoU with Pertamina to explore Indonesian low-carbon opportunities.