China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) has completed the construction of the first megaton carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) project in China, the Qilu-Shengli Oilfield CCUS on January 29. This will reduce carbon emission by 1 million tons per year, the equivalent of planting nearly 9 million trees and shutting down 600,000 economy cars.
As China's largest full industrial chain CCUS demonstration base and industry benchmark, the Project is estimated to increase oil production by 2.965 million tons in the next 15 years. It's of great significance to China's scaled development of CCUS and building an "artificial carbon cycle" model to increase China's carbon emissions reduction capabilities as the country advances to achieve the "dual carbon" goals of reaching peak carbon emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060.
The construction of the Project was initiated in July 2021 and is consisted of two parts – Sinopec Qilu's carbon dioxide capture and Shengli Oilfield's carbon dioxide displacement and storage. The carbon dioxide captured by Sinopec Qilu will be transported to Shengli Oilfield for further displacement and storage via green transport mode, achieving an integrated application of carbon capture, displacement, and storage to seal the carbon dioxide underground and drive the oil out – turning the waste into treasure.
Sinopec Qilu has newly constructed a liquid carbon dioxide recovery and utilization unit with a capacity of 1 million tons per year, which includes a compression unit, refrigeration unit, liquefaction refining unit, and supporting facilities to recover carbon dioxide from the tail gas of coal-to-hydrogen plant with a purification rate of over 99 percent.
Meanwhile, Shengli Oilfield is applying the principle of supercritical carbon dioxide's easy miscibility with crude oil to build 10 unattended gas injection stations in Zhenglizhuang Oilfield to inject carbon dioxide into the 73 wells nearby to increase crude oil fluidity and improve oil recovery while adopting closed pipeline transportation of oil and gas to further enhance carbon dioxide sequestration rate.
Taking an early start of CCUS R&D and construction, Sinopec has developed its own CCUS technology system that has achieved good results in improving crude oil recovery and reducing carbon emissions, and some of the capture technologies are in leading position domestically and advanced level in the world.
Sinopec's low partial pressure carbon dioxide capture technology has been successfully applied in more than 50 units of devices across 16 provinces and cities in China, capturing more than 200,000 tons of carbon dioxide every year. The company has tackled multiple key technological problems. By actively conducting mineral field tests in the East China and Shengli oilfields and exploring the development mode of high-pressure miscible flooding of carbon dioxide, Sinopec has effectively solved the problem of difficult water inject and oil well production in reservoirs of ultra-low permeability, proposed the innovative "throughput displacement coordination" carbon dioxide injection development mode to carry out efficient development of sealed small block reservoirs. Sinopec has also built China's first exhaust gas displacement, cyclic utilization and storage base of high water-cut oil reservoir industrial refinery in Sinopec Zhongyuan Oilfield.
Backed by systematic investigation of China's large-scale carbon dioxide emission sources, Sinopec has researched and drafted the CCUS potential evaluation method and established the Sinopec source & sink database. To date, Sinopec has implemented 36 carbon dioxide flooding projects.
Sinopec is looking to advance the constructions and realize the industrialized development of CCUS. Sinopec will build a CCUS R&D center to focus on cutting-edge technological breakthroughs including the integration of CCUS with new energy, hydrogen energy, and biomass energy. The company will advance the technology applications such as the carbon dioxide production of high-value chemicals and carbon dioxide mineralization and utilization to make breakthroughs in the core technologies and solve the equipment bottlenecks in carbon capture, transportation, utilization, and storage.
With the goal of building a carbon dioxide technological innovation system of "technology development-construction project demonstration and industrialization," Sinopec will extend the clean carbon sequestration industrial chain and build the foundation for carbon emission reduction technology innovation.
Between 2021 and 2025, Sinopec will build another megaton CCUS demonstration project in partnership with Sinopec Nanjing Chemical Industries Co., Ltd. in its affiliated Sinopec East China oil and gas fields and Sinopec Jiangsu Oilfield to achieve the industrialized development of CCUS and widen the prospects as China advances to achieve carbon peak and carbon neutrality.