Chinese state-owned oil and gas company Sinopec has commenced operation of the country’s largest carbon capture facility, at its Qilu refinery in eastern Shandong province. The CO2 is to be used for enhanced oil recovery at 73 oil wells in the nearby Shengli oilfield, extracting an estimated additional 3 million tonnes of oil through the injection of 10.68 million tonnes of CO2 over fifteen years. (Assuming around 0.45 kg of CO2 is produced per kilogram of crude oil, this would mean a net injection of 9.33 million tonnes of CO2, or 12.6% of the injected CO2 being re-emitted.)
To begin with, the captured CO2 from the Qilu refinery will be trucked to the oilfield, but a pipeline, China’s first, is being constructed to more efficiently transport the gas. Sinopec is planning a further two carbon capture and enhanced oil recovery projects of a similar size in the next few years, at the Huadong and Jiangsu oilfields, which are nearby.