Update on CCS projects in the region
In the GCC region, all countries have started the engagement in CCUS, with major activities found in the UAE, the KSA, and Qatar. The UAE government has identified CCS as a key component of national GHG mitigation plans in its national communications to the UNFCCC. As the major oil-producing emirate of the country, the Abu Dhabi government is developing, through Masdar, a CCS network bringing CO₂ from emitters to the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). In addition to the completion of a two-year CO₂-EOR pilot project in November 2011 at an onshore field, Masdar announced in early 2012 that it would proceed to tender for a CCS project with Emirates Steel Industries (ESI), handling 800,000 tons of carbon annually and connecting an ESI factory to an ADNOC oil field. Masdar also has a 60/40 joint venture with British Petroleum (BP) in developing Hydrogen Power Abu Dhabi (HPAD), a commercial-scale hydrogen-fuelled power plant incorporating carbon capture and storage. The project was placed on hold in January 2011 due to issues associated with negotiating prices for the CO₂ and electricity produced at the hydrogen plant with its two main customers: ADNOC and Abu Dhabi Water Electricity Authority (ADWEA). The Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 also calls for consideration of CCS-equipped coal power in the next ten years, and the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah has announced feasibility studies for a CCS-equipped coal plant.
Saudi Arabia, as the leading oil-producing country in the world, can increase oil production without the use of EOR. When needed, Saudi Aramco uses highly optimized and cost-effective water flooding operations for EOR. Nevertheless, the country is developing the world's largest CO₂ purification and liquefaction plant in Jubail. The plant will bring 1,500 metric tons per day of raw CO₂ coming from two ethylene glycol plants to three SABIC-affiliated companies for enhanced methanol and urea production. The country is in the process of developing several similar CCS projects, including some pilot projects on CO₂ for EOR. The Qatar Fuel Additives Company will install a CO₂ capture plant in its methanol production plant by 2014. Qatar Petroleum has a joint venture with Shell and some academic institutions in establishing the Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre (QCCSRC). Bahrain has a CCS project that captures flue gases from an existing petrochemical plant for urea and methanol production. In 2010, Kuwait launched a carbon project which will capture more than 150,000 tons of CO₂ annually from Equate, a large petrochemicals company, for food and beverage production. The current CCUS engagement of Oman is primarily focused on research and development of feasible CCUS technology. It can be noted that all current developments in the GCC region are initiated by the public sectors, with major effort focusing on feasibility validation of various stages of the CCUS value chain in the local context. Despite the clear interest for CCUS in this region, it is recognized that large-scale deployment of CCUS cannot be realized without the establishment of formal legislation and regulation.
( Courtesy: UN working paper on ‘Strengthening the legal and regulatory framework in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries to promote the deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and storage', by Dr I-Tsung Tsai, 2014)