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Collaboration with first-movers to inform CCUS policymaking in Oman

Oman foresees a 15% contribution from CCUS projects in the abatement of planet-warming CO2 emissions (Picture credit: Reuters)
Oman foresees a 15% contribution from CCUS projects in the abatement of planet-warming CO2 emissions (Picture credit: Reuters)

MUSCAT: Oman’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals has pledged to work closely with early adopters of Carbon Capture, Utilisation & Storage (CCUS) technologies in the formulation of a regulatory framework and underlying policies governing this promising new industry.

According to a key official, policy actions envisioned by the Ministry to help underpin the growth of a thriving CCUS sector in Oman will seek to, among other things, enable first-movers to implement their proposals for carbon capture and sequestration in the Sultanate of Oman.

Eng Muhannad bin Al Khattab al Hinai, Director of the Hydrogen Policies and Strategies Department at the Ministry, said: “We are taking the (...) early-mover approach in which we work together with industry to develop the right set of permits and licenses to get such projects going in a safe and controlled manner. And from there, we build on a regulatory framework that is fit for purpose.”

Presenting on the theme, ‘CCUS in Oman: National Policies and Regulation’, during a recent forum held in the city, Al Hinai pointed out that a number of local and international companies are currently embarking on CCUS projects in Oman. He cited in particular the Blue Horizons initiative being development by Oman Shell in collaboration with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO).

In developing policy actions to drive the growth of a CCUS industry, the Ministry plans to undertake the following: Review international best practices, Build regulatory support capacity, Assess current policies and regulations in relation to CCUS, and Identify regulatory gaps and barriers.

The overarching goal, said Al Hinai, is to establish a regulatory framework that best fits CCUS strategy. Besides enabling first-movers, the framework will embed environmental safeguards and support economic value creation for CCUS, he added.

Just last week, the Ministry announced the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with Petroleum Development Oman, Oman Shell, OQGN (the gas network operator), and Oxy. The MoC supports the establishment of a ‘House of Expertise’ that will contribute to the development of a regulatory and strategic framework to underpin the growth of CCUS and Blue Hydrogen projects in Oman.

Investments in CCUS projects are key to supplementing decarbonization initiatives vital to achieving Oman’s Net Zero goals. The National Strategy for an Orderly Transition to Net Zero envisions a 15 per cent contribution from CCUS in carbon abatement by 2050.

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