Catching CO2 the Saudi Way?

oil well oil drum for carbon capture in saudi arabia Saudi Arabia has a lofty goal of storing CO2 by increasing oil recovery and reducing waste. 

Carbon capture utilization has become one of the most innovative means of recycling and reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the globe, but has largely remained an untouched endeavor in the Middle East. Until now. Saudi Arabia’s Aramco research and development center believes that it has the ability to establish new technology that will facilitate carbon capture to dispose of the greenhouse gas emissions in a meaningful manner in its depleted oil reservoirs.

According to a local report published by The Peninsula in early December, the country and its national oil company hopes to implement an innovative system that will capture CO2 from industrial facilities across the Gulf Kingdom.

Chief Technologist at Aramco’s Carbon Management and Hydrogen Production Team Mohammed Al-Juaied said the country hopes to launch the Saudi Arabia Carbon Capture System (SACCS).

The move aims to enhance oil production in underground reservoirs. Basically, what happens is that through carbon capture, large quantities of the gas is taken and injected into oil depleted areas, which can then increase oil recovery and reduce waste from such facilities.

“The main objective of such a method is to safely and permanently store CO2. This is the only commercially viable technology for CCS and it has the potential to be greatly expanded, enhancing efforts to reduce CO2 emissions while enabling additional hydrocarbon recovery from mature fields,” wrote The Peninsula.

According to Al-Juaied, “it will give long term benefits.”

The engineer believes that removal efficiency can reach as high as 90 percent and will reduce oil-related pollutants that enter the air and are harmful to people’s health.

While this new technology is largely new, in Germany it has been used successfully to reduce harmful GHG from entering the atmosphere and furthering climate change destruction across the planet. The German government is hopeful that this will help reduce waste.

The thinking is that by capturing CO2 from major emitters, such as factories or refineries, and transporting to storage sites it can then be deposited into areas underground, such as Saudi’s idea of using it to jumpstart largely depleted reservoirs. In doing so, the CO2 remains outside the atmosphere and prevents the release of large amounts of CO2 into the air, a major cause of climate change today.

Saudi, like Germany and other countries, believe that this technology will help mitigate their contribution to fossil fuel abuse and emissions, enhance its oil recovery and create the means to limit their global footprint of GHG.

Read more on carbon capture:
Saudi Arabia holds out for carbon capture
Masdar’s carbon capture plan could cause comas
Masdar to and US DoE to Collaborate on Carbon Capture and Storage
Masdar and the Dicey Science of Carbon Credits

Image of oil well on oil tank from Shutterstock

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