The World Future Energy Summit 2011 was held in Abu Dhabi from 17th – 20th January. The summit brought together world leaders, policy makers, industrialists from across the globe to discuss and deliberate on the climate change challenges faced by the world and find practical solution to address these problems. The four day session had 2 sessions exclusively focused on CCS.
The topic of the first session was “CCS: From pilot to implementation-sharing the knowledge”. This session was chaired by the CEO of carbon capture and storage association, United Kingdom. With CCS being increasingly adopted, the session explored the different ways of deploying CCS technology in a commercially viable manner and the lessons to be learned from the mistakes made in the pilot/demonstration phase. There was consensus among the panelists that technology was extensively available for capturing CO2 from natural gas fields and injecting it underground for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The cost for implementing this technology is high and for the business model to be viable, the CCS technology has to be clubbed with EOR to scale up to industrial scale. Walid Fayed of Booz & Company highlighted the potential to offset the CCS implementation costs completely if it is combined with EOR. The CO2-EOR strategy advisor of UAE said assuming a recovery rate of 7% from EOR operations, UAE oil reserves will increase by 6 billion barrels and the whole of Middle East region by 46 billion barrels.
The second session was on “Kick starting a CCS future – Overcoming the regulatory and financial barriers”. The focus of this session was on identifying various barriers to the implementation of CCS and the efforts to be taken by financiers, policy makers, and industrialists in bridging this gap. Some of the barriers identified by the panelists are: Safety of storing it underground as CCS is still unproven, risky and expensive, Whether the technology can be scaled up and used on power plants, fear of decrease in investment in renewable energy sectors, financial incentives are mostly transitional, legal and regulatory frameworks are absent in most of the countries and public awareness & acceptance is limited. The panelists considered CCS as a “game changer” given its potential to generate additional revenues under CDM along with EOR.