Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pumping pollution beneath the desert

World's oil companies will be carefully watching Abu Dhabi's plan to capture carbon emissions underground

Abu Dhabi is planning to construct the world's largest carbon capture and storage project, as part of the oil-rich emirate's $15-billion (U.S.) bid to become a leader in clean technology and renewable energy.

While countries around the world are wrestling with the daunting economics of carbon sequestration, Abu Dhabi is planning to invest up to $4-billion to capture as much as 15 million tonnes of CO{-2} annually from eight industrial plants, and then inject the gas underground to enhance oil recovery.

Once injected, it is expected that the greenhouse gas will remain sequestered underground indefinitely.

The effort is being spearheaded by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co., a state-owned company that has been endowed with $15-billion to spend on carbon management programs, alternative power sources such as solar and energy-from-waste, and a model, zero-emission city that would be powered by renewables.

It is all part of the emirate's effort to invest its vast and growing oil wealth in new technologies that will broaden its economic base, while meeting international commitments to begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Though other countries have individual carbon capture projects - including one run by EnCana Corp. in southern Saskatchewan that is the world's largest - none has moved beyond single, isolated endeavours. As a result, oil companies from around the world will be watching the effort to determine whether a carbon-capture network can be economically viable.

In Alberta, where massive oil sands development is raising fears about rapidly rising greenhouse gas emissions, the federal and provincial governments have indicated a willingness to help finance a pipeline that would deliver CO{-2} to oil fields for use in enhanced recovery. However, industry officials say the gathering system represents a small fraction of the cost - the biggest expense is the effort to capture carbon dioxide from the emissions stream.

With Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. doing feasibility work, the Abu Dhabi project - known as Masdar - has identified eight sources of CO{-2}, including power plants and refineries. It initially plans to proceed with the "low hanging fruit" from four of them, said Sam Nader, the project's director of carbon management.

Masdar, established in 2006, is working with state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. - which produces virtually all of the emirate's 2.5 million barrels of crude per day - to identify oil fields that would benefit from CO{-2} injection to enhance oil recovery.

"This is a win-win situation for us," Mr. Nader said in a telephone interview from Abu Dhabi. "We get the environmental benefit from capturing the CO{-2}, and also enhance oil production."

As one of the world's most prolific oil producers, Abu Dhabi is also a major emitter of greenhouse gases - third in the world on a per capita basis after neighbours Qatar and Kuwait.

In addition to the revenue generated by replacing the natural gas that is currently used to enhance oil production, the Abu Dhabi company will profit from the sale of emission credits generated by the reduction in greenhouse gases.

SNC-Lavalin principal consultant Doug Macdonald presented the preliminary results of the feasibility study at an energy futures conference hosted by Abu Dhabi last week. He told the conference that up to six of the eight projects can be implemented in a "relatively short" amount of time, Bloomberg News reported.

"Our mandate is to act as an agent for promoting sustainability in this part of the world," Mr. Nader said. "The Middle East has been a laggard in terms of adapting to a carbon-constrained world, but we believe we can catch up."

As part of that overall $15-billion announced last week, Masdar Clean Tech Fund is investing $250-million in renewable energy and other clean technologies that would be appropriate for the desert conditions of the region.

Masdar fund manager Alex O'Cinneide said in an interview that he is looking for a commercial rate of return on the investments in industries like solar and energy-from-waste. But at the same time, the company is investing in technology "that can be scaled up for Masdar to deploy in the region."

Those technologies will then be featured in Masdar City, a planned six-kilometre-square development that the emirate unveiled last week. It will feature zero greenhouse gas emissions, zero waste, with no cars allowed. The emirate is also partnering with Massachusetts Institute of Technology to establish in the city a graduate level program in clean-tech engineering.

The urban centre, with a projected population of 47,500, will include an electric light-rail system, a solar-power plant and a desalination plant, with wastewater being used to grow plants for biofuels. Construction is to begin next month, and residents are to begin moving in next year.
Mr. O'Cinneide said the Abu Dhabi commitment is unprecedented for any government.

"There are plenty of funds our size," he said. "But from an all-encompassing perspective - building cities, building universities, building a manufacturing base - there's nothing like it," he said.

the source


sachin said...


Anonymous said...

Kim Jong-un, the crown prince of kim family in Korea, originally wanted to show his elegant demeanour of the ained the door?in the Big Parada, but little does one think, what became famous is the 80,000USD Patek Philippe watch on his wrist. It seems that watch is the best option to burn the useless money. What timepieces else are those aristocratic and elegant ones in the world? Follow is the top 10 watches which may not be gained with money. And which is your target?[url=http://www.good4shopper.com/rado-watches.html]replica rado watches[/url] [url=http://www.luxucenter.com/cheap-louis-vuitton-handbags.html]fake Louis Vuitton[/url] [url=http://www.sunglassescool.com/louis-vuitton-sunglasses.html]Louis Vuitton sunglasses[/url] Rolex watches are amazing. A gorgeous Rolex watch looks great and stylish. As we all know that Rolex watches are known for its strength and endurance, that's why Rolex watches have a good reputation for so many years. And also you will see the quality and precision reflected in each Rolex watch. So, Rolex is a name that thousands of people had dreamed of.