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China Oil and Gas Firm Readies First Offshore Carbon Capture Site

The carbon capture project, situated at CNOOC’s Enping Oilfield in the mouth of the Pearl River, will store carbon dioxide emitted during oil extraction

Headquarters of China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC)
A security officer keeps watch outside the headquarters of China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), China's top offshore oil producer, in Beijing February 19, 2008. File photo: Claro Cortes IV, Reuters.


State-run China oil and gas firm CNOOC has readied the country’s first offshore carbon capture and storage project developed to bury carbon dioxide in the seabed, state media reported.

The project is situated at CNOOC’s Enping oilfield in the mouth of the Pearl River, about 200km (124 miles) from Shenzhen, and will store carbon dioxide emitted during oil extraction, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

CNOOC began building the project last September and said it would eventually sequester a total of 1.46 million tonnes of CO2 in 800-metre deep seabed reservoirs.

The stored carbon dioxide was the equivalent of planting 14 million trees or taking 1 million cars off the road, the company said.

Carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) allows emission-intensive industries like oil and gas, cement and power to prevent climate-warming CO2 from entering the atmosphere.


Carbon Capture a Key Part of China’s Emission Reduction Goal

The International Energy Agency said last year that facilities built around the world now have the capacity to store more than 40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

China has identified CCUS as a key part of efforts to become carbon neutral by 2060, but though it has built several demonstration projects, the deployment of the technology has so far been limited.

According to an assessment report drawn up by the Ministry of Science and Technology and other government bodies earlier this year, the engineering and running costs of CCUS remain too high and government support was still insufficient.

“The future theoretical emission reduction potential of CCUS technology is huge,” the report said, “but due to the technology’s level of maturity and economic viability, that emission reduction potential is difficult to exploit.”

Offshore CCUS has already been deployed in Norway and the United States, with captured CO2 supplied to developers to inject into oil fields to help boost recovery rates.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard





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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.


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