Aramco advances development of emissions reduction solutions

October 16, 2023

Aramco, a global leader in integrated energy and chemicals, continues to advance its efforts in developing solutions for reducing emissions. These initiatives encompass lower-carbon hydrogen, Direct Air Capture (DAC) of carbon dioxide, a unique approach to CO2 storage involving carbon dioxide transformation into stone, and the utilization of geothermal energy.

These projects align with Aramco's ambitious goals, aiming to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions from its wholly-owned and operated assets by 2050, in line with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's 2060 net-zero aspiration. These project details were unveiled during MENA Climate Week 2023, which is being held in Saudi Arabia from October 8 to 12.

Ahmad Al Khowaiter, Aramco's Executive Vice President of Technology & Innovation, emphasized the company's commitment to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and addressing climate change. Aramco is actively collaborating with leaders across various fields to advance technology solutions with the potential to create a significant impact, including groundbreaking approaches aligned with the vision of a circular carbon economy.

Lower-carbon hydrogen:
Building on a successful pilot project in Denmark, Aramco is in the process of finalizing an engineering agreement with Topsoe, a renowned provider of energy-efficient technologies. The agreement aims to construct a lower-carbon hydrogen demonstration plant at the Shaybah Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) recovery plant in Saudi Arabia. This plant is anticipated to have a production capacity of six tons of hydrogen per day and will employ renewable electricity for electrified steam reforming of hydrocarbons to produce lower-carbon hydrogen for power generation. The resulting CO2 emissions will be captured and stored.

Direct Air Capture:
Aramco is collaborating with Siemens Energy to develop a DAC test unit in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, capable of capturing up to 12 tons of CO2 annually. The completion of this test unit, expected in 2024, will pave the way for a larger pilot plant with a CO2 capture capacity of 1,250 tons per year.

Novel CO2 Sequestration:
Aramco has successfully piloted an innovative CO2 sequestration method involving in situ mineralization. This technique entails dissolving CO2 in water and injecting it into volcanic rocks in Jazan, Saudi Arabia, resulting in the permanent conversion of CO2 into carbonate rocks. The pilot project was a collaborative effort between Aramco and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and incorporated several innovative technologies to enhance efficiency and reduce costs.

Geothermal Energy:
Aramco is exploring the expansion of its renewable energy portfolio by harnessing geothermal energy. This involves converting steam from naturally heated underground aquifers into electricity. The company has identified and mapped three potential areas on the west coast of Saudi Arabia using advanced subsurface technologies. Efforts are underway to assess the extent of geothermal resources at each location.

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