Exxon Mobil Corp. is planning to invest up to $15 billion into Indonesia in the form of a refinery and a carbon capture project, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has said.
“I appreciate the cooperation plan to build a green petrochemical refinery and carbon capture storage (CCS) with a value of up to $15 billion”, the Indonesian leader said at a meeting with ExxonMobil’s chief executive Darren Woods on the sidelines of a recent intergovernmental forum in San Francisco, California, as quoted in a press release by the Indonesian cabinet Thursday.
“I am pleased to hear that the CCS facility will be the largest in Southeast Asia and ExxonMobil’s petrochemical complex will be one of the most advanced in the world”, Jokowi added.
The president further urged the United States energy giant to participate in the development of renewable energy and green infrastructure in the Southeast Asian country’s new capital, which is being constructed on Borneo island.
Meanwhile Indonesia’s state-owned PT Pertamina also announced last week the signing of a pact with ExxonMobil to pursue a $2 billion CCS hub project in the Java Sea with a three-gigaton capacity.
Under the agreement, which amends an earlier one reached November 2022, the two companies will “continue their collaboration for the CCS Hub evaluation in the western part of the Java Sea, specifically in the Asri and Sunda Basin”, Pertamina said in a news release November 14.
“The CCS Hub in this location is expected to offer significant geological storage, capturing and injecting CO2 from domestic and regional industries”.
Pertamina president director Nicke Widyawati said in a statement, “This project will enable Indonesia to become a regional leader in industrial decarbonization due to its enormous carbon storage potential”.
ExxonMobil’s current operations in Indonesia involve oil production at the Banyu Urip oil field on the Cepu block and fuel and lubricant distribution. Banyu Urip, the first development on the block, is producing 230,000 barrels of oil a day, contributing about 30 percent of the national oil production, according to information on ExxonMobil’s website.
Fossil Fuels Here to Stay
The meeting between the Indonesian president and the ExxonMobil boss took place on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, where Woods signaled the company’s intent to continue producing fossil fuels in decades to come.
In a speech for the APEC CEO Summit Woods said that as “equally important” as the challenge of climate change is “the need to continue producing affordable energy to maintain and raise living standards around the world”.
“Three billion people fall short of modern living standards, and far too many remain trapped in extreme poverty with no access to electricity or clean cooking fuels”, the ExxonMobil chair and chief executive told the gathering, according to a transcript on the company’s website. “The global North-South divide will only be bridged when we commit to solving the world’s energy and emissions challenges simultaneously.
“Oil and gas are at the center of both. Combusting them is a leading source of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. That’s the societal cost, and it’s real.
“At the same time, the societal benefits of oil and gas are unmatched in human history. They’ve done more to grow economies, eradicate poverty and improve quality of life than anything else”.
ExxonMobil earlier projected the world would not meet 2050 emission reduction targets and expressed backing for sustained investment in the oil and gas industry, saying fossil fuels will remain essential to the economy.
“Overall, energy-related CO2 [carbon dioxide] emissions are projected to peak at more than 34 billion metric tons sometime this decade and then decline to 25 billion metric tons in 2050”, the Irving, Texas-based company said in an outlook report August.
That would be over twice the target curbs by 2050 to keep global temperature increases below two degrees Celsius, ExxonMobil said.
“The average of the IPCC’s [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] Lower 2 degrees C scenarios requires emissions to fall to around 11 billion metric tons by 2050”, it wrote, citing figures from the sixth assessment report of the United Nations body published 2022.
The economic growth of developing nations will drive energy demand through 2050, and while renewables and lower-emission alternatives are taking a bigger share in the energy consumption mix, petroleum and natural gas will still account for 54 percent in 2050, ExxonMobil said.
“The critical question is how that growing energy demand will be met”, it said, batting for oil and gas, reasoning that these fossil fuels are more abundant and cheaper.
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