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ADNOC to expand carbon dioxide capture to boost oil recovery

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) has announced that it is moving ahead with plans to expand the capture, storage and utilisation of carbon dioxide (CO2), produced from either the Habshan-Bab gas processing facilities or the Shah gas plant.

A decision on which plant to capture the CO2 from first will be taken in 2019. The project will be engineered so as not to interrupt ongoing production from either facility.

The additional CO2 capture will reduce ADNOC’s carbon footprint and liberate natural gas, previously used for oil field injection, for other more valuable purposes, while addressing growing global demand for oil by boosting recovery from its maturing reservoirs.

The announcement was made at the International Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) Summit, in Edinburgh, Scotland, by Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, ADNOC Executive Office Director, who led ADNOC’s participation at the summit. The event was attended by global energy ministers, chief executives and senior leaders from international oil and gas companies, as well as the financial community. The discussion at the event is focused on accelerating investment in CCUS technology, which has the potential to significantly support global CO2 emissions reduction, as well as unlock value across economies, including in the UAE.

The Shah plant – built and operated by a joint venture between ADNOC and Occidental Petroleum Corporation – is one of the world’s largest facilities processing ultra-sour gas. It processes about 1.3 billion ft3/d of sour gas and associated condensates, which contain over 20% hydrogen sulfide and 10% CO2. By 2025, modifications to the facility would enable the gases to be captured as part of the sulfur recovery process and converted into pure CO2 for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Using advanced CCUS technology, more than 2.3 million tpy (120 million ft3/d) of CO2 are planned to be captured and locked away underground.

Meanwhile, the Habshan and Bab complex could capture another 1.9 million tpy of CO2 (100 million ft3/d). The complex can process up to 6.2 billion ft3/d of associated gas, making it the largest in the UAE and one of the biggest in the Gulf.

ADNOC has drawn up an ambitious plan to capture CO2 from its own operations, using more cost-effective second- and third-generation carbon capture technologies to meet a six-fold increase in the utilisation of CO2, for EOR. ADNOC plans to capture about 5 million tpy of CO2 (250 million ft3/d) before 2030.

In the oil industry, CCUS technology works in three stages. CO2 is first captured on site, then it is compressed and dehydrated. Finally, it is transported by pipeline for injection into oilfields, where it can be used to enhance oil recovery. Using primary and secondary (waterflood) recovery techniques, between 30 – 35% of oil is recovered on average. At ADNOC, the use of CO2, to help maintain reservoir pressure could increase end-of-life recovery to up to 70%.

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