Climate Change Mitigation

There are two primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions from JX Nippon's operations. These are CO2 emitted from the flaring of the associated gas produced with crude oil, and the continuous venting of hydrocarbon gas from gas processing facilities. We are implementing extensive measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at our major operating oil and gas fields, including the Helang gas field in Malaysia, the Rang Dong oil field in Vietnam and the El-Bunduq and Mubarraz oil fields in the Middle East.

In 2009 at Helang we reduced emissions vented from gas processing facilities by approximately 50% against a rolling average of the previous three years. This was achieved by managing the pressure of the vent gas lines and carrying out thorough maintenance inspections of the production facilities. We also reduced unplanned shutdowns of gas processing facilities and maintained stable gas production.

From September 2001 we stopped flaring associated gas at the Rang Dong oil field and began to transport it via a subsea pipeline to an onshore power plant in Vietnam, where it was used as fuel to generate electric power. The JXTG Group applied to register this project with the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Executive Board, and was accepted as a CDM project in February 2006. In addition, several of the offshore installations at Rang Dong are equipped with solar and wind power generators to partially cover their electricity demands.

Abu Dhabi Oil Co Ltd, of which JX Nippon is a shareholder, operates offshore facilities such as the Mubarraz oil field in the UAE. It injects associated acid gas back into the oil reservoirs at depths of around 3,000 meters below sea level, using a high-pressure compressor. This operation has greatly reduced CO2 emissions into the atmosphere and also enhances the reservoirs' crude oil recovery rate.

By optimizing our logistics schedule, we are also working to reduce the fuel consumption of the offshore support vessels that transport equipment and materials between shore bases and offshore installations.

CO2 Reduction and EOR

Oil generally accumulates in the porous media of underground reservoirs. The proportion of crude oil that can be recovered from such reservoirs is limited. The recovery factor is generally considered to be 5%–30% for primary recovery using natural energy and about 30%-40% for secondary recovery using water injection and other techniques. Attention is now focused on tertiary recovery technology (enhanced oil recovery or EOR) such as the injection of gas or chemicals to boost crude oil recovery rates.

At the same time, the importance of reducing CO2 emissions is increasing as the world seeks to mitigate climate change. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) measures are ramping up, with the development of techniques to reduce emissions by injecting or solidifying CO2 into depleted underground reservoirs or aquifers.

CO2 Injection Pilot Test at Rang Dong oil field

From 2007 to 2011 JX Nippon worked with Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PETROVIETNAM) and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) to investigate whether CO2-EOR technology could boost oil recovery. Laboratory experiments with CO2 injections, together with a reservoir simulation study, indicated a substantial opportunity to increase oil production as well as reduce CO2 emissions. As a result, a small-scale CO2 injection pilot test was conducted at Rang Dong oil field in June 2011.

This pilot test was the first CO2-EOR application in offshore Asia. In June 2013 JX Nippon and JOGMEC were jointly presented with the Distinguished Contribution Award by the Japanese Association for Petroleum Technology for our work in this area.

US Carbon Capture-Enhanced Oil Recovery Project

In 2014 JX Nippon launched a project in the US to build and operate a commercial-scale carbon-capture system that collects CO2 from the flue gas of a coal-fired thermal power plant. The captured CO2 can then be injected into an oil field to increase oil recovery.

One of the world's largest post-combustion carbon capture facilities will be constructed at the WA Parish power plant southwest of Houston, Texas. The captured CO2 will be compressed and piped through a 130-kilometer pipeline to the West Ranch oil field, where it is expected to boost the field's dwindling output.

This is a revolutionary project set to revitalize legacy oil fields while at the same time reducing the industry's carbon footprint. When complete, the project is expected to capture approximately 1.6 million tons of CO2 that would be otherwise be released to the atmosphere.

Conceptual diagram of the projectConceptual diagram of the project

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