ADNOC and Occidental unveiled a collaboration to mark a significant milestone in their partnership. They will conduct a joint preliminary engineering study for the establishment of the first megaton-scale direct air capture (DAC) facility outside the US.

This initiative represents the first project to progress to the technical feasibility stage since the two companies entered into a strategic collaboration agreement in 2023, dedicated to the exploration of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) ventures both in the UAE and the US.

The study’s primary objective is to evaluate the viability of a proposed one-million-tonne-per-annum (mtpa) DAC facility, which is intended to be integrated into ADNOC’s existing carbon dioxide infrastructure. The captured CO2 will be directed towards injection and long-term storage in saline reservoirs that are currently not utilised for oil and gas production. ADNOC is currently in the testing phase of a pioneering project- the world’s first fully sequestered CO2 injection well situated in a carbonate saline aquifer in Abu Dhabi.

ADNOC Low Carbon Solutions and International Growth executive director Musabbeh Al Kaabi said: “Today’s announcement represents continued positive momentum in our partnership with Occidental to significantly scale up promising carbon management technologies. This joint investment in the proposed first megaton direct air capture facility in the region exemplifies ADNOC’s commitment to leverage partnerships and promising technology to accelerate our decarbonization journey on the way to net zero by 2045.”

In August, ADNOC and Occidental inked a significant strategic collaboration agreement (SCA). This agreement was established with the aim of assessing potential investment prospects within the realm of CO2 capture and storage hubs, both within the UAE and the US. Furthermore, this collaborative effort is geared towards the integration of climate-conscious technologies into various energy initiatives, including emissions-free power generation and the production of sustainable fuels.

Occidental president and CEO Vicki Hollub said: “The speed at which the Oxy and ADNOC teams have developed the feasibility and Pre-FEED plan for a DAC plant in Abu Dhabi underscores the urgency needed to deliver global-scale climate solutions and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. We will continue to leverage our carbon management expertise to deliver value and accelerate our ability to achieve our net-zero targets and help others meet theirs.”

As part of its comprehensive carbon management strategy, ADNOC has recently unveiled a pivotal development: the formal approval of a final investment decision for a carbon capture project situated in the Habshan region. This project is set to be one of the largest of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, boasting the capability to capture an astounding 1.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of carbon emissions. These captured emissions will then be securely stored in onshore reservoirs within Abu Dhabi.

This strategic move is firmly aligned with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) stance that carbon capture and storage represents a crucial tool in the global pursuit of achieving a net-zero carbon emissions target by the middle of this century.