The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), and the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) have inked a framework agreement to collaborate on environmental protection and conservation, in line with the UAE’s commitment to find a balance between economic development and environmental protection.
As part of the deal, ADNOC and EAD will explore opportunities to enhance project management, natural habitat protection, and knowledge sharing to monitor and maintain strict air quality standards.
ADNOC’s approach to environmental protection is evident in the pre-production work being conducted around the Hail, Ghasha, and Dalma mega-sour gas development.
As part of its efforts to minimise environmental impact, ADNOC has conducted one of the largest marine environmental baseline surveys in the UAE’s history.
This has enabled ADNOC to locate the project’s 11 artificial islands, and optimise well numbers and trajectories to ensure that both islands and drilling activities are placed outside sensitive areas.
This includes development and management plans to protect diverse marine ecosystems, mitigating any potential impact to sensitive habitats and endangered species.
In addition, ADNOC has planted over 250,000 mangrove seedlings in Abu Dhabi to preserve the biodiversity of the UAE coastline, and has built 293 artificial coral reefs to enrich and safeguard marine life.
As part of this commitment, ADNOC plans to plant 10 million mangrove seedlings in the Al Dhafra region in coordination with the EAD, according to the state-run news agency, Wam.
ADNOC has also committed to limiting its freshwater consumption ratio to below 0.5 percent of total water use.
Currently, more than 99% of the water ADNOC uses for cooling purposes is extracted seawater, which is discharged back to the ocean after undergoing treatment to ensure compliance with ADNOC’s discharge standards and Abu Dhabi’s regulatory standards.
The agreement was signed by the Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi; the Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO, Dr Sultan Al Jaber; and the EAD secretary-general, Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri.
Commenting on the agreement, Dr Al Jaber said: “This agreement will help to ensure that ADNOC continues to protect and conserve the UAE’s environment and natural habitats for generations to come. Closer collaboration between ADNOC, MOCCAE and EAD will also make a significant contribution to the UAE’s broader environmental and sustainable development goals.”
Al Jaber added: “This agreement makes good business sense, as sound environmental performance will enhance our bottom line while creating lasting value for the society at large.”