The United Arab Emirates’ biggest oil producer is doubling its carbon-capture target as the company works toward a net-zero goal and looks to burnish its green credentials before the UN’s main climate summit.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. plans to capture 10 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually by 2030, up from a previous target of 5 million tons, according to a statement. Adnoc’s executive committee, chaired by Crown Prince Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed Al Nahyan, approved the plan as part of the company’s strategy to have net zero emissions from its own operations by 2045.
The UAE, the first Gulf state to declare a target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, is hosting the UN’s main climate conference, starting in late November. One of the largest producers in OPEC, the UAE has faced criticism for its plans to raise oil production capacity by about 20% to 5 million barrels a day by 2027 and for naming Adnoc Chief Executive Officer Sultan Al Jaber as head of the COP28 conference.
Even with the more ambitious carbon capture target, Adnoc will only be stopping a fraction of its emissions from reaching the atmosphere. The company produces 24 million tons of CO2 annually at its own upstream operations, or production of oil and gas. Adnoc’s calculations also don’t cover emissions created by customers burning the oil and gas it produces.
Adnoc in September announced its second carbon capture project, which will prevent CO2 from reaching the atmosphere at the Habshan natural gas processing facility and pump it into crude wells, where it will be used to boost output in a process known as enhanced oil recovery. That project, once completed, would bring Adnoc’s carbon capture capacity to 2.3 million tons per year.
The company also has a smaller project to take carbon emissions from a steel plant and inject the gas into an oil field.
Adnoc is looking for other sources of CO2 in the emirate that can be captured and re-used or permanently stored, Musabbeh Al Kaabi, Adnoc’s head of low carbon solutions and international growth, said in an interview last month. Adnoc this week hosts its main annual oil conference, Adipec, which this year is likely to be occupied largely with discussion of climate. Adnoc often announces contract awards for its ongoing projects at Adipec.