06 November 2015
DHAHRAN: Saudi Aramco
has welcomed global energy ministers, officials and experts from the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) to its Dhahran headquarters to demonstrate its industry leadership in greenhouse gases (GHG) management, including energy efficiency and carbon capture and storage (CCS).
Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali I. Al-Naimi and CSLF ministerial co-chair hosted a delegation that included Ernest Moniz, secretary of energy, United States and CSLF ministerial chair, and ministers and ministerial representatives from Australia, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, France, Korea, and the United Kingdom. Al-Naimi said: "We are here today because we are united in a common cause. We want to tackle climate change and we know that technology holds the key. We also appreciate that it is only by working together that these challenges will be overcome.
From what I have witnessed these past few days at CSLF, I am confident that we are on the right track. That said, there is a lot more hard work ahead. As today's visit to Saudi Aramco helps demonstrate, Saudi Arabia is playing its part. Globally, it is gratifying to me to hear that so many nations are taking positive steps forward in terms of CSLF." Amin H. Nasser, president and CEO, Saudi Aramco, who welcomed the delegation, said: "The key to unlocking the full potential of CCS is advancing technology that will turn it into a more viable option. To complement our existing energy efficiency programs, Saudi Aramco has piloted a CCS project to contribute to the scientific knowledge associated with this technology."
Saudi Aramco launched Saudi Arabia's first carbon capture and storage pilot project in July 2015 at the Uthmaniyah field and Hawiyah facilities. The largest such project in the Middle East, it will inject 800,000 tons of CO2 every year. In addition, the company has invested in technology start-ups, including Novomer which develops catalysts capable of efficiently converting CO2 into products, such as polyurethane. "Our work is part of a holistic approach that complements the Kingdom's broader energy framework. Our track-record, long-term approach and scale increases our impact, delivering economic growth using considerably less energy, enabling wider access to energy, improving efficiency, conserving natural resources, and improving environmental performance."
The CSLF is a ministerial-level international climate change initiative focused on the development of improved cost-effective technologies for the separation and capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) for its transport, utilization and long-term safe storage. The CSLF is currently comprised of 24 members, including 23 countries and the European Commission. Its member countries represent over 3.5 billion people or approximately 60 percent of the world's population. The CSLF held its sixth ministerial conference in Riyadh from November 1- 4. During the CSLF Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Aramco was recognized for a project that advances Oxy-Combustion technology which improves the combustion of difficult to burn liquid fuels while capturing CO2 at high rate and purity.
This technology will capture CO2 emissions from power plants, refineries and industry at large. Ahmad Al-Khowaiter, chief technology officer, Saudi Aramco said: "This prestigious international recognition by CSLF reflects Saudi Aramco's technical leadership in addressing global challenges and our efforts in addressing climate change issues. Our Oxy-Combustion technology demonstration project shows promising results for further scale-up as a means to utilizing difficult to burn heavy residues for efficient power generation with the potential for 90 percent CO2 capture."
During their visit to Dhahran the ministerial delegation toured Saudi Aramco's Oil Supply, Planning and Scheduling Center, Upstream Professional Development Center, and Exploration & Petroleum Engineering Center to observe first-hand some of the game-changing technologies underpinning the company's energy efficiency and GHG management activities to maintain its position as the world's most reliable supplier of energy. In addition, the delegation received a presentation from SABIC demonstrating its role in delivering sustainable and efficient programs for the economy, society, and the environment. As part of its long-term focus on addressing climate change with technology-enabled solutions, Saudi Aramco has reduced its CO2 footprint six-fold over the last four decades.
The company has gone from flaring 4 billion standard cubic feet per day of gas in the 1970s to almost zero flaring in the 1980s. Today, at less than 1 percent of total raw gas production, Saudi Aramco's total flared gas is one of the lowest in the world. Carbon sequestration is the process of capture, utilization or long-term storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). This process will mitigate the atmospheric and marine accumulation of greenhouse gases, which are released by burning fossil fuels.