DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates’ state oil company Adnoc announced a major new carbon capture project on Wednesday, less than three months before it hosts UN climate talks in Dubai.
The new initiative will siphon planet-heating carbon dioxide emissions from the Habshan gas processing plant in Abu Dhabi and store them permanently underground, a statement said.
The project, described as one of the biggest in the Middle East and North Africa, will be able to capture up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 a year, tripling Adnoc’s carbon capture capacity, it said.
“As Adnoc continues its transformation towards a lower carbon future, it is our intention to make further investments to significantly reduce our emissions, including in carbon capture and storage,” said Musabbeh Al Kaabi, executive director of Low Carbon Solutions and International Growth.
No cost or timeline was announced for the venture, which will be built and operated by Adnoc subsidiary Adnoc Gas and include carbon capture units, pipelines and a network of wells for CO2 injection.
Adnoc is hoping to “maintain its leading position in producing low carbon-intensity barrels” of fuel with its carbon capture initiatives, the statement said.
The UAE, one of the world’s biggest oil producers, is a supporter of carbon capture technologies which hold out the possibility of reducing greenhouse gas emissions while still pumping fossil fuels.
The approach remains divisive, however, with opponents pointing to the difficulty in capturing adequate quantities and urging more focus on phasing out hydrocarbons.
Environmentalists have also criticised the choice of the UAE to host the COP28 climate talks in November and December which will be headed by Sultan Al Jaber, who is the country’s climate envoy and Adnoc’s CEO.