EOR and Sustainability
Aramco comes up ACES with Green Initiative award
Company recognized for the carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery project’s sustainability efforts.
Aramco’s carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2 EOR) project at ‘Uthmaniyah has received the Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability (ACES) Award in the “Green Initiative Award” category.
This is the first time Aramco has been recognized by this award for the CO2 EOR 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.
Committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by focusing research, development, and funding on high impact technologies that reduce cost and create significant environmental advantages, Aramco launched the Kingdom’s first CCUS and CO2 EOR project at ‘Uthmaniyah.
This project, a first-of-its-kind in the region for scale and operation (and one of the largest on Earth), strives to enhance oil recovery while supporting the company’s sustainability efforts, reducing the carbon footprint through proper capture and utilization of CO2.
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.
The project, an epitome of multidisciplinary and multi-departmental teamwork, 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 water flooding — a win-win technology solution.
— AbdulHameed A. Al-Rushaid, vice president of Petroleum Engineering and Development
The project’s state-of-the-art communication system allows reservoir engineers to capture and leverage sensor-based data across the whole spectrum to monitor and control the project’s performance in real-time as well as improve efficiency, sustainability, quality, and safety.
That integrated approach has paid off substantially. Since the initial injection of CO2 in 2015, the production rates have more than tripled and about 60% of the injected CO2 has been permanently sequestered.
The project is an excellent example of Aramco providing, and actually implementing, innovative solutions to address the issue of global climate change. During the past four years, the project has been recognized with eight prestigious international awards.
Reducing the carbon footprint
The removal and reduction of CO2 emissions is part of a new initiative by EXPEC ARC on sustainability. It focuses on reducing the carbon footprint and intensity of Upstream’s operations. The primary driver here is to balance profitability with sustainability.
The program strives to capture the impact of current technologies, identify new opportunities, develop, and deploy new solutions. It adopts the circular carbon economy framework and covers its “4R” pillars of reduce, reuse, recycle, and remove. Depicting the 4Rs on Upstream operations, four major areas have been identified as operational challenges, but at the same time, seen as sustainability opportunities. These areas are carbon sequestration, water management, operational lost time, and reducing material consumption.