Circular carbon economy

Managing our footprint

Carbon dioxide (CO2) performs a delicate life-sustaining function on Earth but the dramatic increase in greenhouse gases since industrialization has emitted too much CO2 into our atmosphere. The circular carbon economy is an important concept toward managing the world’s excessive CO2 emissions.


What is the circular carbon economy? 

Most economies discard raw materials as waste after use.

The circular economic system uses resources again and again.

A circular carbon economy is a framework for managing and reducing emissions. It is a closed loop system involving 4Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle, and remove.

Saudi Arabia and Aramco have adopted the circular carbon economy framework as a way to reduce their carbon footprints.

A circular carbon economy, moves from a linear economic to circular economic model though reduction, reuse, recycling, and removal. 

What are we doing?

We believe the circular carbon economy is the best framework for achieving the greatest impact in reducing global emissions, while ensuring consistent economic growth.

We have undertaken a number of circular carbon economy initiatives.

We reduce CO2 emissions, enhance fuel efficiency, conserve water, and create next-generation materials that make consumer products greener. 

We remove CO2 by capturing and injecting it into underground reservoirs.

We use artificial intelligence and big data, to reduce emissions by monitoring company energy consumption and optimizing operations, improving seismic processing and analysis, optimizing crude oil recovery methods, and enhancing oil well productivity.

Our upstream carbon intensity is already among the lowest in the industry.

We continue to innovate and explore effective carbon management solutions that minimize the environmental impact of our activities.

 

Reduce: Minimizing gas flaring

Flaring is a critical part of ensuring safety in the oil and gas industry but is also a source of CO2 emissions.

No Aramco flaring event happens without justification.

As far back as the 1970s, we started the Master Gas System, and introduced our zero routine flaring program, significantly reducing the amount of gas we flare.

And we are not slowing down our efforts.

Offshore Oil/Gas Platform – Zero Flaring Recovery System – Saudi Aramco
Multiple flare gas recovery systems are installed throughout Aramco facilities.
Scientist using Converge technology which recycles CO2 to create polyols for use in everyday applications.
Converge®, a polyol technology, enables Aramco to transform emissions into value, combining waste CO₂ with hydrocarbon feedstocks to create high performance polyols for use in a variety of everyday applications.

Reuse: CO2 into products

CO2 can be recycled by chemically transforming it into new products.

With Converge®, our polypropylene carbonate polyols product line, we are able to recycle CO2 into clean, high-value materials with significant performance, cost, and carbon footprint characteristics.

Converge® polyols are used in everyday applications such as consumer and industrial adhesives, insulation, food packaging, sealants, and elastomer applications.

They also store carbon dioxide for an extended period, removing greenhouse gas (GHG) from the environment.

Recycle: Conserving water

Saudi Arabia is a land where no rivers flow, rainfall is sporadic, and summer temperatures are high.

It is in our DNA to conserve water.

We use best practices and technologies to maximize the use of wastewater, and utilize alternative water resources, such as seawater, treated sewage effluent and treated reject streams. 

Plus, we use renewable energy sources for more sustainable water treatment and conveyance systems.

Using seawater to enhance oil recovery contributes to water conservation, and in 1979, operators in the control room of the Qurayyah Seawater Treatment Plant monitor the processing and delivery of seawater.
‘Uthmaniyah’s gas-oil separation plant No. 7 is on the frontline of one of the Middle East’s largest carbon enhanced oil recovery initiatives.

Remove: Use and sequester CO2  

Injecting CO2 into a reservoir assists in improving and enhancing oil recovery, and sequesters CO2 at the same time — a win-win for all.

Above the world’s largest discovered conventional onshore oil field, Ghawar, Aramco operates the Middle East’s most advanced large-scale CO2 capture and reinjection project.

After we capture CO2 at Hawiyah NGL Plant, we then pipe it 85 km to ‘Uthmaniyah, where we reinject the CO2 back into the Ghawar oil field.

It helps in unlocking the trapped oil after waterflooding and a sizable portion of the CO2 remains sequestered in the reservoir.