UAE-based Alsa Engineering & Construction has been selected to build a pilot project for the injection of carbon dioxide (CO2) at the onshore Rumaitha field in Abu Dhabi, according to sources close to the bidding process.

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract was awarded to Alsa by project owner Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (Adco) and is expected to be officially announced in the coming weeks.

Alsa was selected ahead of companies including UAE-based Dodsal, India’s Larsen & Toubro and Canadian group SNC Lavalin after the submission of technical and commercial proposals, say industry sources.

The CO2 injection plant will free up the natural gas traditionally used to pressurise oil wells and aid oil recovery to, instead, be used for power generation and water desalination.

The project coincides with the phase-three development of the Rumaitha field. Adco recently awarded a consortium of South Korea’s GS Engineering and Dodsal the EPC package to expand the capacity of Rumaitha along with the nearby Shanayel field.

CO2 will be sourced from the under-construction carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) project at the Emirates Steel operations in Mussafah and transported to Rumaitha through a 50-kilometre pipeline.

The $122m CCUS project, a joint venture of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), will capture 800,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of CO2 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016. The EPC is being carried out by Dodsal, MEED revealed in September 2013.

In November, director-general of Adnoc, Abdulla Nasser al-Suwaidi, said the project would be expanded to capture gas from other energy-intensive industries and other oil fields would benefit from the programme.

“We are aiming to achieve a 70 per cent of recovery factor in the long term. Not only at Rumaitha and Bab. There is potential… at different fields, both onshore and offshore,” Al-Suwaidi said. “We will be the first country to inject CO2 offshore.”

Adco is now 100 per cent owned by Adnoc, after its long-term concession with five international oil companies (IOCs) expired in January.