ADNOC, the biggest oil producer in the United Arab Emirates, awarded contracts worth around $17 billion for an offshore natural gas project operating with net zero emissions, the first in the world to do so.
The project consists of two engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracts and is part of Abu Dhabi’s Ghasha Concession.
One EPC contract of $8.2 billion went to a joint venture between Italian oilfield services firm Saipem and Abu Dhabi’s National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC). The other EPC contract worth $8.74 billion was awarded to Milan-based engineering company Maire Tecnimont for onshore projects.
Fast-Tracking ADNOC’s Net Zero Goal
ADNOC’s Hail and Ghasha project will capture 1.5 million tonnes per year (mtpa) of carbon dioxide. This plan brings Adnoc’s committed investment for carbon capture capacity to almost 4 million tonnes a year.
The captured CO2 will be transported onshore via ship or pipelines and securely stored underground in geological formations.
Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS, also called CCS) involves the trapping of CO2 emissions from industrial activities and fossil fuel combustion.
The project will also use clean energy from nuclear and renewable sources while producing low-carbon that can replace fuel gas, further reducing emissions.
- The oil giant plans to double its carbon capture capacity to 10 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030.
All these efforts are part of the company’s move to bring forward its net zero emissions target to 2045. That’s 5 years earlier than its previous goal of 2050, making ADNOC the first among its peers to fast-forward its net zero target.
In 2022, ADNOC established a new business division, Low Carbon Solutions & International Growth, in line with its net zero goal. It will focus on CCUS, renewables, and clean hydrogen while helping the company expand internationally in gas and liquefied natural gas.
At the beginning of 2023, ADNOC announced a $15-billion investment in low-carbon projects to tackle emissions and achieve decarbonization targets. Part of this $15B investment is the first-of-its-kind CCUS or CCS project.
The new project also aims to produce over 1.5 billion standard cubic feet per day of gas by 2030. More than 60% of the project’s investment value will flow back into the UAE’s economy.
Unlocking Natural Gas with Carbon Capture
Speaking for the company’s giant move, its executive director Abdulmunim Al Kindy remarked that:
“Natural gas is an important transition fuel and ADNOC will continue to responsibly unlock its gas resources to enable gas self-sufficiency for the UAE, grow our export capacity and support global energy security.”
The director further said that it’s a major milestone for the oil giant and its partners. They claim it would be the first gas project in the world with net zero emissions.
Moreover, the proponents believe that it will contribute to the country’s gas self-sufficiency and the company’s growth and export plans. They’re seeking to increase oil production capacity to 5 million barrels a day from 4 million today.
ADNOC will decarbonize a portion of its onshore operations through renewables and nuclear power.
Part of that plan is installing a 10 tonne per day carbon capture unit developed by Carbon Clean. As a progress, ADNOC partnered with Occidental to conduct a preliminary study to create the first megaton-scale Direct Air Capture (DAC) facility outside the United States.
The joint study will evaluate the proposed 1 mtpa DAC plant. This facility will be connected to ADNOC’s CO2 infrastructure for injection and permanent storage into saline reservoirs.
The oil producer also inked a separate $615 million deal with oil services company Petrofac. They agreed to develop one of the biggest carbon capture projects in the Mena region, particularly at the Habshan plant.
The major energy player added that their CCS plans will help scale-up hydrogen and lower-carbon ammonia production in Abu Dhabi.
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All these new targets come as the nation prepares to host the upcoming COP28 climate conference in November. ADNOC’s group CEO Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber will be the summit’s president.
ADNOC’s ambitious move to develop the world’s first offshore net zero emissions natural gas project not only reduces its carbon footprint but also contributes to the UAE’s energy security and export capacity. This initiative aligns with the company’s commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2045, setting a precedent in the industry as it transitions to cleaner energy production.