Adnoc's carbon capture programme on track to increase five-fold by 2030

The company is currently one of the top five lowest greenhouse gas emitters in the oil and gas industry

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, January 11, 2020.  Atlantic Council Global Energy forum, Abu Dhabi.
H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, United Arab Emirates and Chief Executive Officer, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company at the forum.
Victor Besa / The National
Section:  BZ
Reporter:  Jennifer Gnana
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State-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company is on track to expand its carbon capture programme by five-fold by 2030 as it looks to lower emissions from its activities, its chief executive said.

The company, which accounts for much of the hydrocarbon activity in the UAE, plans to capture 5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually over the next decade.

"Adnoc's CCUS [carbon capture utilisation and storage] programme reinforces our position as the least-carbon intensive oil and gas producer in the world. It is also an important enabler of our holistic 2030 sustainability goals, specifically our target to reduce greenhouse gas intensity by 25 per cent," said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and Adnoc group chief executive.

The UAE, which accounts for 4 per cent of global oil production, has been looking to lower the carbon intensity of its fossil fuel activities. (Add a line here on how carbon capture helps cut emissions)Adnoc is currently one of the top five lowest greenhouse gas emitters in the oil and gas industry and has one of the lowest methane intensities in the world of 0.01 per cent.

Efforts in the UAE by state-backed Adnoc come as global investors become increasingly conscious about the impact of fossil fuels. BP pledged earlier this month to become carbon neutral in its upstream activities and other operations by 2050 or sooner. Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency noted in its report that global emissions relating to energy flatlined for the first time in 2019.

Adnoc is looking to scale up its carbon capture, utilisation and storage programme, from 800,000 tonnes of captured CO2 to 5 million tonnes by 2030.

Harvesting CO2 to be used as agent in the fields has become popular among upstream operators looking for more sustainable ways to coax more production out of maturing fields.

Adnoc has been pumping carbon captured by the Al Reyadah Company, which sources the gas from industrial facilities in Mussafah to help with enhanced oil recovery.

The state-owned oil giant also has plans to harvest 2.4 million tonnes of carbon from the Shah gas plant, while the Habshan and Bab plants could allow for the capture and utilisation of nearly two million tonnes of CO2.

As part of its adoption of sustainability goals, Adnoc also plans to limit its freshwater consumption ratio to below 0.5 per cent of total water use.

Speaking at the same conference, Saudi Aramco’s chief executive, Amin Nasser, said that the company also has a carbon capture project aimed at capturing and injecting large amounts of CO2 in the ground.

Scientists in one research project, operated jointly by Aramco and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology, also recently announced they had discovered a viable path for carbon reclamation.

“In our efforts to reduce CCUS cost, our scientists are developing some of the world’s highest capacity CO2 capture materials for large scale applications”, said Saudi Aramco’s chief technology officer Ahmad Al-Khowaiter.

The company is also working with its partners in developing and scaling up novel utilisation technologies to use captured carbon in polymers and to capture CO2 generated in cement production.