Energy giants Occidental and Abu Dhabi-based ADNOC announced a new agreement to launch an engineering study aimed at assessing the feasibility of building a new 1 million tonne-per-year Direct Air Capture (DAC) facility in the UAE.
The facility would be one of the largest DAC projects in the world, as well as the first megaton-scale DAC facility outside the U.S.
The agreement follows an MOU signed between the two companies in August to jointly explore carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) projects in the U.S. and the UAE.
Vicki Hollub, Occidental President and CEO, said:
“This agreement demonstrates how Oxy and ADNOC are committed to advancing direct air capture technology in the UAE and underscores the necessary urgency needed to deliver global-scale climate solutions. We will continue leveraging our carbon management expertise to deliver value, engage committed partners and accelerate our ability to achieve our net-zero targets and help others meet theirs.”
DAC technology, listed by the IEA as a key carbon removal option in the transition to a net-zero energy system, extracts CO2 directly from the atmosphere for use as a raw material or permanently removed when combined with storage. According to the landmark Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate change mitigation study released last year, scenarios that limit warming to 1.5°C include carbon dioxide removal methods scaling to billions of tons of removal annually over the coming decades, with DAC positioned to potentially account for a significant portion of the total.
Most solutions that capture and store CO2 are early stage and currently limited in scale, including DAC. Oxy’s carbon capture-focused subsidiary 1PointFive is currently constructing Stratos in Ector County Texas, which it expects to be the largest DAC facility in the world to date, designed to capture 500,000 tonnes of CO2 per year when fully operational.
Under the new agreement, Oxy and ADNOC will study the feasibility of a new megaton-scale facility that uses the same CO2 extraction technology as the Texas-based project. Stratos uses DAC technology developed by Canada-based Carbon Engineering, which pulls in atmospheric air and extracts the carbon dioxide through a series of chemical reactions, which is then concentrated, purified and compressed for permanent storage or utilization. Oxy announced in August that it has agreed to acquire Carbon Engineering for $1.1 billion.
If the new project is approved, the companies said that CO2 extracted at the new DAC facility is expected to be connected to ADNOC’s CO2 infrastructure for injection and permanent storage into saline reservoirs not used for oil and gas production.
Musabbeh Al Kaabi, Executive Director for Low Carbon Solutions and International Growth at ADNOC 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.”