Adipec 2015: Adnoc studies further use of carbon capture to enhance oil recovery

In partnership with the renewable energy firm Masdar, Adnoc will capture and inject 800,000 tonnes per year or 41.5 million standard cubic feet per day of carbon dioxide into the fields.

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Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) is conducting studies for further injection of carbon dioxide into oilfields over the next five to seven years.

That is aimed at reducing emissions of the primary greenhouse gas in Abu Dhabi and replacing the natural gas re-injected into oilfields, according to Arafat Al Yafei, a manager of carbon dioxide and nitrogen development at Adnoc.

He was speaking at the Adipec oil and gas conference in the capital yesterday.

In the first quarter of next year, Adnoc plans to start injecting carbon dioxide in the Rumaitha and Bab oilfields operated by the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Petroleum Operations (Adco), an Adnoc subsidiary.

In partnership with the renewable energy firm Masdar, Adnoc will capture and inject 800,000 tonnes per year or 41.5 million standard cubic feet per day of carbon dioxide into the fields.

“In a parallel we have studies ongoing to ensure having the additional volumes of CO2 captured and injected in the next five to seven years,” said Mr Al Yafei.

Adnoc is studying the possibility of capturing about 8 million tonnes a year or about 400 million standard cubic feet per day of carbon dioxide over that period to prepare for the future use of carbon dioxide as an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technique.

EOR is used to increase the amount of oil extracted from oilfields, particularly those with complex reservoirs where crude is not flowing easily.

“As of today there is no need for EOR because we can reach our production targets with the current facilities,” said Mr Al Yafei, adding that Adnoc was preparing for the future need to use EOR by having the necessary facilities, specialists and knowledge in place.

Currently, with improved oil recovery (IOR) techniques, Adnoc could achieve 30 to 40 per cent of crude recovery from oilfields, but EOR techniques would be needed to reach 70 per cent recovery of oil, he said.

The UAE plans to boost its oil production capacity to 3.5 million barrels per day by 2017 and 2018 from about 3 million bpd presently, and raise that to 4 million bpd by 2030.

Abu Dhabi produces about 1.5 billion standard cubic feet per day of carbon emissions, according to Mr Al Yafei.

Currently, Adnoc uses natural gas re-injection to help maintain its oil reservoirs, but rising demand for gas in Abu Dhabi is prompting officials to find ways to replace the use of natural gas re-injection in the oil industry.

The emirate’s demand for gas is rising because of its increased use for power and water generation, petrochemical production and in the industrial sector.

Adnoc is not the only company looking at using carbon ­dioxide to enhance oil ­recovery.

In Saudi Arabia, the state-run Saudi Aramco started a pilot project this year to inject 40 million standard cubic feet per day of carbon dioxide into oil reservoirs in the Uthmaniyah oilfield to replace the use of water injection.

According to the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, operational large-scale carbon capture and storage projects around the world will increase to 22 over the next 18 months, with a capacity to capture 40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

dalsaadi@thenational.ae

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