Abu Dhabi To Capture 20M Tons of CO2; Inject in Oil Fields

ABU DHABI, Jan 22, 2008 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Abu Dhabi plans to launch up to 15 carbon projects to capture as much as 20 million tons a year of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, a government official said Tuesday.

"The projection is that we will be able to potentially capture about 20 million tons of carbon dioxide per year by 2020, and that will happen through about 10 to 15 carbon-capturing projects," Sam Nader, director for carbon management at Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co., or Adfec, told Zawya Dow Jones in an interview.

Adfec, the government-run entity implementing Abu Dhabi's $15 billion Masdar initiative, plans to start work on its first carbon-capturing project by the end of 2008, Nader said.

"The carbon will be captured from various sites and sources, mainly from power plants, and heavy industries," he added.

Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is considered to be a main driver behind global warming. Carbon sequestration technology aims to reduce the release of CO2 into the atmosphere by capturing and storing the gas in underground formations.

Adfec plans to transport the captured CO2 through pipelines to Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. or Adnoc, which will in turn inject it into domestic oil fields, boosting crude oil production while at the same time keeping it stored underground.

The CO2 would replace natural gas that is presently being injected into local oil fields, freeing up the resource for use in industries and power plants.

The U.A.E. produces more than 2.5 million barrels a day of crude oil, making it the third-largest producer in the Persian Gulf after Saudi Arabia and Iran.

"If everything is approved by our leadership, we should kick off the project in 2008 and it would take about three and a half years before the first site is ready," Nader said.

The Masdar initiative was launched in April 2006 to establish the emirate as a hub for alternative energy resources and sustainable technologies.

ABU DHABI, Jan 22, 2008 (Dow Jones Newswires)