Carbon capture technology on the rise in India's energy transition


Public sector oil and gas companies in India are actively adopting carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) technologies as part of their emission-reduction strategies as India pledges to become net zero by 2070.

According to The Green Shift – The low carbon transition of India’s oil and gas sector released in April by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG), CCUS is a common strategy across India’s oil and gas majors’ energy transition plans.

CCUS technologies capture carbon dioxide emissions from fossil power generation or industrial processes. The captured CO2 is either used onsite or compressed and transported to be used in a range of applications, or injected into geological formations which trap the CO2 for permanent storage.

India’s state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Norway-based energy company Equinor to explore opportunities in low-carbon and renewable sectors, specifically focusing on CCUS.

ONGC has also partnered with the Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL), another public sector oil producer, to work on India’s first industrial-scale carbon capture project at the Koyali refinery. The project will capture CO2 emissions at the refinery that will be transported through pipelines to ONGC’s Gandhar oil field, where carbon will be stored.

IOCL aims at cutting more than 40% of its emissions through carbon-negative technologies such as CCUS and tree plantation. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) also aims to implement new CCUS technology by 2026 in its refinery, while Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) plans to install a carbon capture unit in Visakh refinery in Andhra Pradesh by December 2023.

The Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) has also implemented a microalgae carbon dioxide fixation pilot project, which will convert inorganic carbon into organic compounds, in an artificial pond at its Pata petrochemical complex in Uttar Pradesh.

The majority of these companies have set targets to achieve zero emissions through renewable energy, such as solar, wind, biofuel, green hydrogen as well as CCUS technologies.

While it is a well-understood fact that oil and coal will stay in India, these companies are serious about taking actions to cut down their emissions further, said Biswajit Roy, Director General of Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (GERMI)

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