As part of the deal, Eneos’ unit JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration, which already owns a 50% stake in Petra Nova, will buy the other 50% for $3.6 million. Eneos Holdings, which is the 43rd company by revenue in the world, is a multinational corporation with over 25,000 employees globally.
The move is aimed at providing the company with expertise in Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) technology, a JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration representative said.
The project has a planned capacity of 1.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually and will allow the company to increase crude oil production by separating and recovering carbon from the power plant’s flue gas and then injecting it into oil platforms.
Petra Nova began commercial operation in 2016 and has since injected a total of about 4 billion tons of carbon dioxide. The project, however, was suspended in 2020 after a series of mechanical problems and missed targets, as reported by Petra Nova’s owners to the U.S. Department of Energy.
“The suspension was due to deteriorating profitability caused by slumping oil prices at the time,” the JX representative said. “No clear timeline for the restart has been set, but we aim to be ready for resuming the CO2 capturing facility in the second quarter next year when the power plant is due to be back online.” The power station also suffered a fire a few months ago, he added.
The Petra Nova power plant, located Southwest of Houston, was seen as an important try-out of the viability of carbon capture, a technology solution that is seen as crucial in the fight against climate change.