Technology Collaboration Programme by IEA logo

IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

John-Gale cropI had the pleasure of being invited to attend and give a key note speech at the Expert Group Meeting on CCUS in ESCWA member states held in Abu Dhabi, UAE last week.  The Meeting was organised the UN body Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia’s (ESCWA) Energy Group and was hosted by the Masdar Institute. Our former colleague Mohammad Abu Zahra, now a Professor at the Masdar Institute, was the host and co-ordinator for the meeting.

My presentation focused on the current status of CCUS globally. The key points I made was that whilst we are waiting for a number of demonstration projects to commence like Boundary Dam in Canada, the CCUS R&D community is very active.  The R&D projects that are active around the world and there are many are contributing to our CCUS knowledge base through the publication of papers in journals, like IJGGC, helping to build expertise in countries and assisting the development of demonstration projects in their respective countries.  It is this R&D area that IEAGHG focuses its activities and the 9 active international research networks we operate help to co-ordinate this research and promote international collaboration and co-operation.  Of notable interest is the developments of CCUS R&D activity (mostly in the field of capture) in the steel and cement industries. Prior to this most capture R&D activity had been based around the power sector so this is a new interesting trend in CCUS research.

The meeting hjosirljosirted the interest in CCUS in the Gulf States, which is not driven by the need to cut emissions to meet international targets. Of course the countries in this region are oil and gas producers so utilising CO2 for EOR is a big driver and well as using CO2 as a cushion gas for pressurisation in gas fields rather than using natural gas.   Several countries in the region have established CO2-EOR research capabilities and centres of excellence such as Abu Dhabi (Masdar), Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

The meeting aimed to bring delegates (experts ) from outside the Gulf States and in side together to discuss opportunities for co-operation and how the region could move forward.  At the close of the meeting a panel session chaired by Mohammad Abu Zhara proposed a way forward that includes a top down/bottom up approach to take the region forward. In essence this meeting mean groups like IEA and GCCSI working at the Government level to develop political will, and help assess broad capacity needs whilst we work with the R&D groups to help co-ordinate areas of common interest and try and draw these groups into our existing network activities or develop a new research  network to meet their needs.  This activity will be co-ordinated by ESCWA and proposed to the ESCWA members early next year for support.   So watch this space and I am glad that IEAGHG are in at the start and can help by using our core skills to assist the development of this new initiative.