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Adnoc’s new pilot scheme to address UAE’s carbon footprint

Adnoc Adipec Supplied
Adnoc and Siemens Energy launch their partnership at Adipec
  • Partnership with Siemens Energy announced at Adipec
  • Blockchain ledger allows regulators to certify carbon intensity
  • Adnoc boss also called on investment in oil to ensure energy mix 

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) chose this week’s Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conferences (Adipec) to announce a partnership with Siemens Energy to pilot blockchain technology to certify the carbon intensity of a range of products.

By using smart sensor data gathered from across Adnoc’s operational chain – from the oil well to the customer – the pilot will show how much was used to make products such as Murban crude, ammonia and aviation fuels. 

This information will be automatically recorded onto a decentralised blockchain ledger.

Such transparency will allow independent regulators to certify the carbon intensity of products. It will also give customers greater clarity over the carbon footprint of their purchases.

The pilot forms part of a broader partnership between Adnoc and Siemens Energy over energy technology systems supporting the transition to more sustainable operations.

This year’s Adipec includes decarbonisation forums with a focus on cleaner forms of energy and innovative technologies bridging to net zero, with an emphasis on methane, hydrogen and carbon capture.

Oil executives also convened in Abu Dhabi to discuss their response to the energy crisis that has been exacerbated by both geopolitics and years of underinvestment in the industry’s infrastructure.

While some oil companies have been criticised during the conference for being slow to decarbonise their operations, Adnoc has been credited with managing to reduce methane emissions through both regulatory framework and technology.

Samar Al-Hameedi, Adnoc’s vice president of corporate sustainability, said during a panel discussion that the company’s challenge was to manage methane emissions by deploying “cost effective techniques across their assets and value chain”.

Gulf oil companies including Adnoc have also used Adipec to call on further investment in the oil and gas industry to ensure a proper energy mix. 

Adnoc managing director and group CEO Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber – who is also the minister of industry and advanced technology of the UAE – summed up the challenges of the balancing act between supply, demand and sustainability as “maximum energy, minimum emissions”. 

“The world needs all the solutions it can get – oil, gas, solar, wind and hydrogen,” he said. 

“If we zero out hydrocarbon investment, due to natural decline, we would lose five million barrels per day of oil each year from current supplies. 

“This would make the shocks we have experienced this year feel like a minor tremor.

“If this year has taught us anything, it taught us that energy security is the foundation of all progress – economic, social and climate progress.”

Peter Harding, founder and CEO of Kelvin Inc, which offers artificial intelligence services to assist companies to decarbonise, said that although change is sometimes slow in the region, it is taking place as senior executives are proactive.

“There is a group of people who are forward thinking about embracing new technologies and willing to try something different,” he said.

Adnoc’s partnership with Siemens Energy is one example of technology driving the transition to cleaner energy.

Abdulmunim Saif Al Kindy, executive director of Adnoc’s people, technology and corporate support directorate, said: “People typically associate blockchain technology with crypto currencies, but the use of decentralised ledgers has significant implications for the energy industry. 

“This pilot promises to shine a digital spotlight into our manufacturing processes.

“It will show the world why energy supplied by Adnoc is among the least carbon intensive in the oil and gas industry.”

Other areas under joint development include electrification and “Power-to-X” technologies to produce green hydrogen and its derivatives, including synthetic CO2-derived products.

Dr. Fahad Al Yafei, chief technology officer at Siemens Energy Middle East, said: “By leveraging our expertise of certificates of sustainability, Siemens Energy will work with Adnoc to develop solutions for the benefit of the energy industry. 

“Investing in innovation and the co-creation of technologies are vital tools for reducing emissions and meeting net zero targets.”