Petrobras Studying the Implementation of an Unprecedented CCS Project in Brazil
Petrobras is studying the implementation of an unprecedented project for CO2 capture and geological storage (CCS) hub in Brazil, in partnership with other companies.
The project consists of creating an infrastructure for the disposal of CO2 from capture sites in industrial facilities – to its permanent storage in a reservoir below the seabed. In a broader perspective, the goal is to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated not only by Petrobras' operations, but also by other industries in the country, such as cement manufacture, steelworks, among others.
These were some of the highlights presented by Petrobras Reservoir Executive Manager Tiago Homem, on the panel “Finding Offshore CO2 Storage: Going Big and Moving Fast” presented on May 1, at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), in Houston.
The executive also anticipated that Petrobras is scheduled to conduct a CCS pilot project in Rio de Janeiro, with the capacity to capture 100,000 tons of CO2 per year at the Cabiúnas terminal, north of the State. The project is still in study phase and implementation still depends on further analyses. The initiative is the first step towards the subsequent implementation of a large-scale CCS hub.
According to Tiago Homem, the pilot project will contribute not only to technically testing CCS solutions, but also to help the country build a regulatory framework that encourages this type of project. Regulation is one of the main challenges for the development of CCS in Brazil, as well as the search for saline aquifers with the capacity to store large volumes of CO2.
Throughout its 70-year-history, Petrobras has become renowned for its geological knowledge of Brazilian reservoirs, for building complex infrastructure projects safely, and has become a world leader in the capture, use and geological storage of CO2 (also called Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage - CCUS) in the pre-salt fields as a way to increase oil production.
“These conditions put Petrobras in a great position to develop CO2 capture and geological storage solutions in Brazil. Therefore, we are anticipating the regulation by carrying out this pilot project,” commented Tiago Homem.
Its pioneering CO2 reinjection work has allowed the company to reach, for example, the record of 10.6 million tons of CO2 reinjected in 2022, equivalent to about 25% of the industry's total reinjection capacity. For the coming years, Petrobras has expanded its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and established a more ambitious goal for CCUS projects – revised to 80 million tCO2 reinjected by 2025, double the previous target.
The company also plans to incorporate CCUS technology into seven other FPSO (floating oil production, storage, and offloading units) platforms by 2025 - in addition to the 21 FPSOs that already use it. These advances will contribute not only to the technological evolution of CCUS, but also to reduce costs and demonstrate the potential application of this solution in the oil and gas and other industries.
A delegation of Petrobras executives led by the Chief Energy Transition and Sustainability Officer Maurício Tolmasquim, met with the organization Greater Houston Partnership to see the largest CCS project in the world, which will be implemented in Houston. During the meeting, industry players, including Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell, discussed the challenges faced in the US market to make CCS initiatives viable.
According to the project partners, the greatest expectation is the changes related to regulatory policies, including the rules for obtaining the appropriate licenses for the application of incentive credits.
For Tiago Homem, present at the meeting, this demonstrates that the challenges faced in Brazil are similar, and that the experiences exchanged with the city of Houston will help design a business model that is viable and scalable for the Brazilian market. The Petrobras entourage will continue to exchange experiences and contribution means to leverage the CCS hub in Brazil.