Five leading Omani public sector organisations have come together to explore opportunities for Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) with a specific focus on biogenic CO2 – a climate-friendly carbon source originating from biomass decomposition, digestion or combustion.

Taking part in this first-ever biogenic CO2 based CCUS initiative are Oman Environmental Services Holding Co (be’ah) which manages the country’s municipal and solid waste sector; Nama and Nama Dhofar Services – both members of state-owned power and water services group Nama; Marafiq – the integrated utility services provider at Duqm SEZ; and OQ Alternative Energy – part of OQ Group.

Announcing the partnership, be’ah said: “A collaborative effort between be’ah, Nama, Nama Dhofar Services, Marafiq, and OQ Alternative Energy has been initiated to conduct a comprehensive joint study. This study aims to quantify and assess the sources of biogenic CO2 and explore opportunities for its potential capture, storage, and utilization,” be’ah – part of Oman Investment Authority - stated in its 2023 Sustainability Report.

CCUS – a multibillion dollar climate tech industry – is gaining traction in Oman as part of the country’s wider Net Zero strategy. A number of energy companies have already unveiled initiatives aimed at capturing climate-warming CO2, and sequestering the emissions in underground geological formations, such as depleted oil and gas reservoirs or deep saline aquifers. The more enterprising among them plan to utilize the captured CO2 as feedstock in the production of low-carbon fuels, chemicals and other commodities. Furthermore, its potential use in Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) and mineralization – applications that help permanently trap or convert the CO2 into stable carbonates – are being explored as well.

In all of these instances, the sources of the CO2 are industries, power plants, oil and gas fields, and other such activities where the CO2 emissions stem from the combustion of fossil fuels. Biogenic CO2 emissions, on the other hand, relate to the natural carbon cycle, as well as those resulting from the combustion, harvest, combustion, digestion, fermentation, decomposition, or processing of biologically based materials.

Examples of biogenic CO2 include emissions from the combustion of biogas collected from biological decomposition of waste in landfills, wastewater treatment, or compost management processes, combustion of green municipal waste, or combustion of biological material, including forest-derived and agriculture-derived feedstocks.

be’ah, along with Nama Water Services and Nama Dhofar Services, currently manage significant volumes of biowaste (solids and liquids) associated with biogenic CO2 emissions. Efforts to capturing CO2 emissions – whether linked to fossil fuel based activities of biological combustion – offer a promising pathway to climate change mitigation, say experts.

In the Sultanate of Oman, energy companies and other sector stakeholders currently exploring the adoption of CCUS as part of their energy transition strategies include Petroleum Development Oman, Oman Shell, Occidental of Oman, OQ Gas Networks, and OQ Alternative Energies, among others.

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