Energy transition

ADNOC, Oxy Take Next Step Toward Megaton-Scale DAC in UAE

Oxy’s 1PointFive subsidiary and ADNOC plan to assess the feasibility of building the first megaton-scale DAC facility outside of the US.

A rendering of Oxy's Permian Basin direct air capture plant.
Source: Carbon Engineering

ADNOC and Occidental signed an agreement to begin a jointly funded preliminary engineering study for a 1.0-mtpa direct air capture (DAC) facility in the UAE.

The agreement, signed at the ADIPEC conference in Abu Dhabi, is the first project announced since the companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in August to jointly explore carbon capture, utilization, and storage projects in the US and the UAE.

The study will assess the feasibility of building the first 1.0-mtpa DAC facility using the same carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction technology to be deployed in the Stratos facility 1PointFive is building in Ector County, Texas. The Stratos facility is designed to include DAC technology developed by Canada-based Carbon Engineering. When fully operational, it is expected to capture up to 500,000 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year.

If the UAE project is approved, CO2 extracted at the DAC facility is expected to be connected to ADNOC’s CO2 infrastructure in Abu Dhabi for injection and permanent storage into saline reservoirs not used for oil and gas production. ADNOC is in the testing phase of the world’s first fully sequestered CO2 injection well in a carbonate saline aquifer in Abu Dhabi, according to Oxy.

“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,” said Vicki Hollub, Occidental president and chief executive. “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.”

In addition to the preliminary engineering study for a megaton-scale DAC in the UAE, the terms of the MOU include:

  • ADNOC may evaluate participation in DAC facilities and CO2 sequestration hubs under development in the United States by 1PointFive
  • Occidental and ADNOC may also evaluate jointly developing one or more UAE-located CO2 sequestration hubs
  • The companies will also consider opportunities to incorporate innovative CO2-based technologies into the UAE, including those in which Occidental has invested, such as emissions-free power and sustainable fuels.

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.”
The MOU was enabled by the UAE-US Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy, which was launched in November 2022 and is expected to mobilize $100 billion in clean energy and carbon management projects, including CCS and DAC by 2035.