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Wed 21 Mar 2007 12:31 PM

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UAE planning to cut down CO2

A new carbon project is underway in efforts to reduce emissions in the UAE.

The UAE has announced plans for a national CO2 capture storage (CCS) network in a bid to start a major carbon dioxide emission reduction programme, WAM reported yesterday.

A fully-developed CCS network could cut down CO2 - a prime greenhouse gas - emissions in the UAE by nearly 40 per cent, according to the report. And it can boost oil production by up to 10 per cent while releasing large amounts of natural gas.

The approach involves separating carbon dioxide from industrial and energy related sources like power plants, and transporting the CO2 to oil reservoirs for enhanced oil recovery. The CO2 is then stored away safely in deep geological formations - depleted oil fields, unusable coal seams, deep oceans - instead of being released into the atmosphere.

Abu Dhabi's move follows an international request issued last month by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company for bids to carry out a feasibility study for carbon capture and storage.

The companies invited to the bid are Foster Wheeler, Technip, Parsons, SNC-Lavalin and Jacobs Engineering.

"CCS is the most promising technology for the reduction of energy-based CO2 emissions and a viable substitute for the vast amount of natural gas currently re-injected into oil reservoirs for pressure maintenance," said Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company.

"This initiative therefore represents an obvious win-win opportunity for the private and public sectors to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the country, increase oil production and maximize natural gas availability," he added.

The scope of the study is to identify and evaluate options for onshore and offshore CO2 capture from major sources in Abu Dhabi and deliver the CO2 to oil field operators for enhanced oil recovery.

The program falls under the umbrella of the Masdar Initiative, a UAE-based international advanced energy initiative that focuses on sustainable energy and other clean technologies.

According to Reuters, the preferred bidder would be selected by the middle of next month and a feasibility study will be completed by the end of this year. The contract value was not disclosed.