By 2030, OMV Petrom is targeting the addition of new low carbon activities to its portfolio: biofuels, carbon capture and storage and hydrogen.
We set our ambitious decarbonization plans to go beyond renewables, sustainable fuel and mobility. We planned CAPEX expenditures of EUR 2 bn, which will be invested after the technical and commercial viability on new technologies including Carbon Capture Utilization Storage (CCUS) is assessed. The new technologies are expected to help us achieve the target to capture more than 2 mn tons of CO2 per year by 2030. CCUS is expected to play a critical role in reducing emissions not only for us, but also for hard to abate industries.
OMV Petrom is partner in an ambitious European project aimed to address issues related to CO2 emissions from important industrial sectors through development and demonstration of novel versatile carbon capture and conversion technologies. The ConsenCUS project brings together 19 partners (companies, Universities and NGOs) from seven countries and the technologies will be tested in three different locations and industries: cement, magnesia production and oil refining. The technologies that will be tested at Petrobrazi will capture the CO2 from flue gases released by the Cogeneration unit, further converting them electrochemically into marketable products. The innovative technology to be tested at Petrobrazi has an efficiency level of over 90% and can capture 100 kg CO2/hour.
The Fit for 55 package has ushered in a new era in the fight against climate change and is bound to impact many industries in Europe and society. According to the new proposals, at European level, the share of renewable energy sources in transport will have to increase significantly by 2030 (to between 27% and 29% from the current 14% set by Renewable Energy Directive (REDII) in 2018), including a substantial contribution of advanced biofuels. In the context of decarbonization, OMV Petrom’s sustainability target for co-processing biogenic feedstock in the Petrobrazi Refinery by 2025 has been changed to support our ambitious low-carbon transformation. We see biofuels as a way to reduce emissions in both road and air transportation, and therefore we have set a new target for biofuel to exceed 15% of the company’s total fuel production by 2030. This target is to be achieved through the production of bioethanol, hydrotreated vegetable oil and sustainable aviation fuel.
We also contributed to the advancement of circular economy practices by taking a strategic step in our own production of advanced ethanol, renewable diesel, and bio-jet from sustainable feedstock, with a planned investment level for 4 projects of EUR 1bn by 2030:
- Bio-Ethanol – Romania presents a unique combination of hay availability and low cost, therefore positioning itself as a high potential location for a future production of biocomponents. Upgrading agricultural residues that are suitable to produce carbon-negative ethanol when combined with carbon capture and storage, constitutes an important opportunity to be explored with a potential contribution to energy transition. Demand for ethanol is expected to grow given its usage as a blend in gasoline and optional feed for Sustainable Aviation Fuel production and green petrochemicals.
- Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)/ Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) production – Romania benefits from a strong agriculture sector and an opportunity to upgrade agricultural waste to high value Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (renewable diesel) or Sustainable Aviation Fuel. Our new production unit will provide flexibility between SAF and HVO production, with the final option depending on the market demand.
Another relevant example of circularity is our unique public-private partnership project between private companies, NGOs and 230 local schools, named Let’s Click on Romania. During this project, 4,000 computers were refurbished and donated to public schools. With this occasion, we avoided the emission of over 576,000 kg of CO2 ~ the CO2 quantity absorbed by 29,262,600 trees in one day.
Throughout the reporting year, we also focused our actions on the implementation of Advanced Recovery pilots in OMV Petrom Upstream to increase the recovery factor of our oil fields and asses upon full field implementation starting with 2020. In Upstream, we work on extending the lifetime of operational facilities by mitigating abrasion and corrosion. To this end, cross-linked polyethylene pipes are inserted in tubing with a special polymer lining developed by OMV Group and patented in 16 countries, including Romania (OMV Petrom). In addition, pilot tests on polymer flow lines were performed under various operating conditions. Therefore, we started the first economical Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) Polymer Project, after a successful pilot in 2020, and we aim for starting injection by the second quarter in 2022. The expected amount recovered for this first phase is estimated at 1.3 mn bbl of oil from our fields.
In Upstream, our target for 2025 is to increase our fields’ recovery factor with implementation in various fields. As an achievement, our Viscous Water Injection pilot project successfully passed at Independența oil production site. A similar project for the Vata oil field advanced and will start execution by the second quarter of 2022.
Research and development activities
ICPT Câmpina, the only scientific research center for the oil industry in Romania, has continued to deliver support and expertise to the entire OMV Petrom – Upstream, while also maintaining a very close collaboration with OMV Head Office and the Technology Center & Laboratory Gaenserndorf. All services requests were treated with maximum care and professionalism in the special conditions created by the pandemic environment. The research activity continued this year with 52 ongoing projects, of which 29 were directly run by our own specialists, in many others ICPT being the main contributor. The topics covered by the research activity included:
- methods for increasing the oil field recovery factor
- risk reduction in the exploration and production activities (reviewing the geological age of mechanical cores and / or sieve samples and correlating with rock samples from outcrops)
- corrosion mitigation
- improvement of water treatment performance in the injection processes
- new slurry compositions for cementing jobs used in workover
As part of its Quality Management System, ICPT Câmpina was involved in a number of international inter-laboratory comparison rounds concluded with excellent results proving the high expertise of its specialists as well as its well adapted laboratory methods and equipment.
Our collaboration with academia world on topics like environmental, material and corrosion, geology and geophysics, has increased in 2021. Among our collaborators are well known universities: Polyethnic University from Bucharest, University of Oil and Gas from Ploiești, Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, National Institute for Lasers Plasma and Radiation Physics (INFLPR) or National Institute for Research and Development in Mine Safety and Protection from Explosion – INSEMEX Petroșani.
Our innovation and circular economy activities contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals related to fostering innovation and action on climate change:
SDG 9 – target 9.5 by enhancing scientific research and innovation for upgrading the technological capabilities of our industrial sector.
SDG 12 – target 12.a: our circular economy initiatives and innovation contribute to strengthening the scientific and technological capacity in the region
- SDG 13 – target 13.1 by focusing our innovation activities on decarbonization aimed at increasing economic resilience to climate change in our communities, minimizing the number of potentially affected members of community