ONGC and Norway's Equinor Plans Mega Project for Carbon Capture and Storage of 1.5 Mn Tonne of CO²

India's Largest Crude Oil and Natural Gas Corporation limited company — Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) is planning a mega carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, which would help capture 1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually from several emitting industries and store it permanently deep under the seabed off the coast of Gujarat, said a report by Economic Times, citing an executive from ONGC.

According to the report, ONGC will  collaborate with Norway's Equinor, for this project. Equinor is a multinational energy company, which was founded primarily as a  petroleum company and the Norwegian Government is the biggest shareholder in the company. 

The viability of the planned mega project depends on the cost of carbon capture. Notably, a previous study by ONGC had projected a cost of more than $1 billion for building a carbon capture and storage project with a capacity of 0.5 million tonnes of CO² per year.

The planned project, which has been presented to India's policy think tank - Niti Aayog, comprises carbon capture at multiple industrial sites including steel, oil, cement, and power facilities, as well as its evacuation by pipelines to onshore intermediate storage, and further transport via pipeline or ships to a final storage site in the sea, said the report citing the executive who didn't want to be named. The project would take three years to build after the details are finalised. 

The project details which are yet to be worked out include the carbon collection sources and the location of the sink where the captured CO² will be deposited, as well as the funding of the project. 

In a separate report at the same time, its reported that ONGC has signed an MoU with the US based global petroleum giant Shell, for cooperation in Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) studies.

ONGC already has a dedicated Carbon Management & Sustainability Group (CM&SG) with a specific mandate to position ONGC as the leading organisation in sustainable development (SD) and to voluntarily take up carbon management strategy to synergise all business activities with sustainable development, particularly to address issues related to climate change risks and opportunities arising from carbon mitigation initiatives. 

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