- Aramco’s CO2 EOR demonstration project at ‘Uthmaniyah receives the Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability (ACES) award in the ‘Green Initiative Award’ category
Aramco’s carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2 EOR) demonstration project at ‘Uthmaniyah has received the Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability (ACES) Award in the “Green Initiative Award” category.
The ACES Award is an international respected venue that recognizes sustainability efforts cross-industry and across Asia. This is the first time Aramco has been recognized by this award for the CO2 EOR demonstration project’s sustainability efforts. The project has now received a total of eight international awards during the last four years, exemplifying the company’s superb efforts in sustainability.
Carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS)
Capturing and storing CO2 underground has the potential to reduce global emissions significantly. CCUS is the process of capturing waste CO2 from large sources, such as power and gas plants, and depositing it underground for storage so it will not enter the atmosphere.
“We are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by focusing our research, development, and funding on high impact technologies that reduce cost and create significant environmental advantages,” Saudi Aramco president and CEO Amin Nasser said during an Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) event. OGCI is a partnership of 13 national and international oil companies that strives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the industry.
First CCUS project
Aramco launched the Kingdom’s first CCUS and CO2 EOR project at ‘Uthmaniyah. This project strives to demonstrate the enhancement of oil recovery while supporting the company’s sustainability efforts, reducing the carbon footprint through proper capture and utilization of CO2. It is the first of its kind in the Middle East in terms of scale and operation, and one of the largest in the world.
CO2 injection started in July 2015. The project involves capturing a large amount of CO2 per day that would have been otherwise emitted into the atmosphere, compressing the CO2, and piping it across 85 km, and injecting it into a watered out zone of the ‘Uthmaniyah field — part of the giant Ghawar field.
“Reducing greenhouse gas emission has been a top priority for our Upstream operations for several years. This includes near zero flaring and CO2 capture and sequestration in our giant oil fields,” said Nasir K. Al-Naimi, acting business line head of Upstream. The project has been an epitome of multidisciplinary and multidepartmental teamwork. It was started with in-house research, followed by the capture facilities’ design at the Hawiyah NGL plant, pilot design, drilling of injection, production, and observation wells, tie-in with the gas-oil separation plant, injection of CO2, and a comprehensive monitoring and surveillance program to evaluate the project.
“The primary objectives of the project are to permanently sequester a portion of the injected CO2, and enhance oil recovery beyond waterflooding — a win-win technology solution,” said AbdulHameed A. Al- Rushaid, vice president of Petroleum Engineering & Development. The demonstration project is uniquely designed as an intelligent field project. The entire infrastructure — CO2 capture plant, pipelines, injection manifold; injection, production, and observation wells; wellheads, fluid handling facility, etc. — is fully instrumented to provide real-time data for monitoring and surveillance purposes.