The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) announced, this week, a set of comprehensive sustainability goals, extending its legacy of responsible oil and gas production and reinforcing its longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship. The announcement was made by Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO while speaking at the opening ceremony of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).
The sustainability goals support ADNOC’s vision to become best-in-class in sustainability, maximizing value for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They also underscore ADNOC’s strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance as the company responds to rising global energy demand and delivers its 2030 smart growth strategy. In addition, they are aligned with the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals on responsible consumption and production, climate action, protecting biodiversity and enhancing economic opportunity.
As part of its sustainability goals, ADNOC plans to decrease its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 25 percent by 2030, strengthening its position as one of the least carbon-intensive oil and gas companies in the world. According to the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP), ADNOC currently ranks in the top five lowest GHG emitters in the oil and gas industry and has one of the lowest methane intensities of 0.01 percent.
ADNOC also commits to limit its freshwater consumption ratio to below 0.5 percent of total water use. Today, over 99 percent of the water ADNOC uses for cooling purposes is extracted seawater which is discharged back to sea after undergoing treatment to ensure compliance with ADNOC’s strict discharge standards.
In addition, ADNOC will continue to protect and support biodiversity across its operations and the broader local environment. As part of this commitment, ADNOC plans to plant 10 million mangrove seedlings in Al Dhafra Region in the emirate of Abu Dhabi by the end of 2022.
Mangroves have enormous capacity to absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases, trapping them in flooded soils. Mangroves also support rich biodiversity and provide habitat for marine life, and act as a valuable natural defense against rising sea levels and coastal erosion.
Over the same period, ADNOC plans to achieve In-Country Value (ICV) of 50 percent across its full value chain by 2030, building on the momentum of the success of its ICV program launched in January 2018 to encourage private-sector partnerships, catalyze socio-economic development, improve knowledge-transfer and generate skilled jobs for UAE nationals.
ADNOC’s ICV program is a key enabler of its commitment to drive progress and development in the UAE. To date, the program has driven more than AED 44 billion ($12 billion) back into the UAE economy and created over 1,500 private-sector jobs for UAE nationals since it was launched in January 2018.
ADNOC’s sustainability goals are underpinned by a commitment to be the global benchmark for safety and asset integrity.
Dr. Al Jaber said: “ADNOC’s sustainability goals further demonstrate our commitment to responsible production which has been embedded in our business practices since the company was established in 1971. This commitment flows from the vision of the Founding Father of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who pioneered sustainability and the protection of the country’s natural ecosystems.
“We are taking a comprehensive and holistic approach to our sustainability strategy in terms of our contribution to the economy, the environment and our most important asset, our people. We are strengthening our environmental performance as we expand our operations to ensure we can deliver more energy with fewer emissions for decades to come.”
To enable ADNOC’s goal to reduce its GHG intensity by 25 percent, ADNOC is building on the success of the region’s first commercial-scale carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) facility.
Currently, Al Reyadah facility has the capacity to capture 800,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. ADNOC plans to expand the capacity of this program six-fold by capturing CO2from its own gas plants, with the aim of reaching 5 million tonnes of CO2every year by 2030 – the equivalent of the annual carbon capture capacity of over 5 million acres of forest or forest over twice the size of the UAE.
One of the key success factors of ADNOC’s high environmental performance is its longstanding zero intentional flaring policy, which has reduced the volume of natural gas flared by more than 90 percent since the inception of the company.
ADNOC is also proactively preserving fragile ecosystems in its areas of operation and protecting biodiversity, marine development, and ecosystems within the communities it operates. To date, ADNOC has planted over 250,000 mangrove seedlings in the emirate of Abu Dhabi to preserve the biodiversity of the UAE coastline. ADNOC has also built 293 artificial coral reefs to protect marine life and maintain ocean health.
Environmental protection is a key pillar of ADNOC’s‘Oil and Gas 4.0’mission for the oil and gas industry to modernize to remain an essential pillar of the future diversified energy mix. The company prioritizes investments in state-of-the-art technology to monitor and reduce environmental impacts of its operations.
A bespoke health, safety, and environment (HSE) information system is built into ADNOC’s Panorama Digital Command Center to give instant, real-time readings across multiple environmental key performance indicators (KPIs) by harvesting information from millions of data sensors.
ADNOC is a leader in the use of optical imagery to monitor environmental risks, deploying cameras with infra-red capability, across its operations to help build a full picture of its fugitive emissions. In addition, the company has been a pioneer in the use of drones equipped with imaging technology to inspect its flare stacks.
ADNOC also set up a state-of-art Centralized Hazardous Waste and Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) treatment and disposal facility to ensure proper management of wastes generated from oil and gas industries.