Japan's Sumitomo in pact with UAE’s oil firm for carbon capture project


Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation has signed an initial agreement with UAE’s Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC) to develop a carbon capture project in the Emirates.

The companies will conduct a feasibility study covering the entire carbon capture and storage (CCS) value chain, including transport, storage, business models and assessment of regulatory aspects, according to a statement from SNOC on July 24.

A CCS hub would contribute “significantly” to the decarbonization of the Northern Emirates, the state-owned company said.

Hatem Al Mosa, Chief Executive of SNOC, stated, “As part of the joint feasibility study, we will collaborate with industry leaders, environmental organizations and regulators with the aim of developing a viable project which adheres to the highest standards.”

He continued,“SNOC has committed to reach net zero on its own operations by 2032 and CCS has the potential to support this goal and beyond. The time to start is now."

SNOC, initiated in 2010, is tasked with exploration, production, engineering, construction, operation, and maintenance of Sharjah's energy assets. In addition to the Mahani gasfield, which was discovered in 2020, SNOC owns and operates three onshore fields, a gas processing complex, two hydrocarbon liquid storage and export terminals and a network of flow lines and production pipelines.

Sumitomo Corporation has been seeking collaborations to advance CCS projects around the world, while SNOC has been focusing on repurposing its mature gas reservoirs in Sharjah.

CCS involves the trapping of CO2 emissions from industrial activities such as steel and cement production, as well as from fossil-fuel combustion in power generation. Subsequently, the captured carbon is transported either by ship or through pipelines and securely stored in subsurface geological formations.

Hajime Mori, managing director of Sumitomo Corporation Middle East, said, “We believe there is big potential for CCS in the Middle East, which is a key technology to materialize energy transition.”

In January, ADNOC, an Abu Dhabi-based energy company, began work on a project to inject captured carbon dioxide into a saline aquifer, a formation of porous rocks that contain brine.

ADNOC has allocated $15 billion to invest in a range of projects by 2030, which will assist it speeds up its low-carbon growth strategy.

The energy firm plans to invest in clean power, carbon capture and storage, further electrification of operations, energy efficiency and new measures to build on its policy of zero routine gas flaring.

According to McKinsey & Company, Global carbon capture, utilization and storage uptake needs to expand 120 times from current levels by 2050, rising to at least 4.2 gigatons per annum of carbon-dioxide captured, for countries to achieve their net-zero commitments.

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