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SH24_EN_SNOC_Hatem Al Mosa2

UAE - Energy & Mining

Hatem Al Mosa

CEO, Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC)

Bio

Hatem Al Mosa has more than 30 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry. He received BSc Degree with Honors in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University. He started his career with Amoco Sharjah Oil Company as a Plant Engineer in 1986. He held various engineering, operations and integrity management roles in Amoco, BP and Crescent Petroleum. He joined Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC) when it was established in 2010 as a Technical Control Manager, then Operations Manager. He was named Chief Executive Officer of SNOC and Secretary General of Sharjah Petroleum Council by Amiri Decree in November 2015.

"Achieving net zero is a global goal for all countries, governments, and companies. The UAE is targeting 2050, while SNOC is looking at 2032, which is very ambitious for an oil and gas company."
TBY talks to Hatem Al Mosa, CEO of Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC), about net zero emissions, carbon capture, and goals for the coming year.
SNOC aims to reach net zero emissions by 2032. How is it progressing toward this goal?

Achieving net zero is a global goal for all countries, governments, and companies. The UAE is targeting 2050, while SNOC is looking at 2032, which is very ambitious for an oil and gas company. Our focus is on reducing scope 1 and 2 emissions—our own operation—prioritizing them over scope 3 emissions. To reach our target, we are building a 60-MW solar power plant in partnership with Emerge and SEWA. Surplus solar energy will be exported to SEWA during the day, with SEWA meeting our nighttime energy needs. We anticipate a surplus of solar energy, aiding our net zero goal. We have started to study the conversion of our gas turbine-driven compressors to electric motors to reduce emissions, as gas turbines currently contribute about 50% of our total emissions. Transitioning to electric motors would significantly cut our emissions. Surplus solar power supplied to SEWA will be used to offset emissions. Despite our zero-flaring policy, SNOC still has minimal acid gas flare, which we aim to recover and potentially inject into one of our reservoirs. We are also addressing fugitive methane emissions by identifying and eliminating sources. These efforts are part of our goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2032.

SNOC announced the gas storage project launch in 2017, including the pilot phase. What is the current status of the project?

Gas storage is a strategic requirement to manage seasonal, daily and emergency gas demand changes. This capability is widely used in Europe and the US, ensuring energy security during winter demand peaks. Conversely, in our region, it is driven by summer air conditioning demand. Recognizing the strategic importance of gas storage, we initiated a pilot phase in 2017, repurposing existing facilities to inject cushion gas into a depleted reservoir. By 2020, we expanded the project, increasing injection capacity and successfully achieving the targeted cushion gas volume by 2023. Utilizing the storage project during summers of 2022 and 2023, we provided essential support to SEWA during peak demand periods. Currently, we are in the final phase, doubling injection and production capacity through increasing the capacity of existing wells. Our project timeline remains on track, providing flexibility to meet demand fluctuations. Plans to expand capacity to meet potential increases in demand within the UAE are underway, with discussions ongoing with various potential users.

SNOC signed an MoU with Sumitomo Corporation for carbon capture and storage. What are the key findings of this study?

The ongoing study, yet to conclude, involves two main focuses. First, carbon capture and storage (CCS), globally recognized for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, is being evaluated. SNOC’s gas processing plant, strategically located within 120km nearly 50% of the UAE’s CO2 emission sources, stands as an ideal storage solution for CO2 captured from nearby facilities, including major power plants and industrial sites. Second, a separate study ongoing with SLB assesses the subsurface characteristics of SNOC’s reservoir for CO2 storage. Though the reservoir’s size may not capture all of the UAE’s emissions, it presents a significant opportunity for carbon mitigation.

SNOC partners with local universities, emphasizing education, healthcare, and social welfare. What are the recent collaborations?

Since SNOC’s establishment in 2010, we have maintained strong ties with universities. I have personally supported American University of Sharjah since its inception in 1997, mentoring numerous interns who now hold key roles within SNOC. Although I no longer oversee internships directly, SNOC continues to host interns from local and international universities, often in partnership with local institutions. We also fund research projects at American University and the University of Sharjah, focusing on renewable energy and energy transition. Additionally, we contribute to academic functions and established during the pandemic an endowment fund at American University to aid students experiencing financial hardships. Overall, we are committed partners to local universities, supporting them through active engagement and financial assistance.

SNOC’s National Development program recruits and trains Emirati graduates for the oil and gas industry. How does this program align with the corporation’s strategic vision?

SNOC’s National Development Program (NDP) is a targeted initiative designed to train UAE nationals for specific roles within SNOC. We have completed three iterations and are currently on the fourth. Each program recruits and trains candidates through a rigorous process, with a focus to progressively increase the percentage of UAE nationals in SNOC workforce. Candidates, selected through interviews, are trained for various roles such as plant operators, petroleum engineers, and finance professionals. Half of the candidates are retained by SNOC, while the rest find opportunities in the industry. The fourth program targets maintenance technicians and various positions. Plans for the fifth program are underway, maintaining a steady recruitment flow. Training duration varies based on roles, typically lasting one to two years for plant operators, or six months followed by an internship for specialized roles like petroleum engineers. Overall, NDP ensures a pipeline of skilled UAE nationals for SNOC’s workforce.

The Net Zero in SNOC and Beyond campaign educates SNOC employees, families, students, and the community about climate change. How does it enhance awareness?

Global warming is a global issue that affects everyone, regardless of where emissions originate. Many lack understanding of this issue, even among educated individuals. Recognizing this gap, we launched the Net Zero in SNOC and Beyond initiative to educate and empower individuals to advocate for action against global warming. We began with our employees, extending outreach to their families and the public, emphasizing how individual actions’ impact on emissions. Our efforts include presentations, public stands, and campaigns in universities and schools. This ongoing initiative aims to create “beacons of influence” to promote positive change beyond our organization, to achieve emissions reduction and environmental awareness.

What are ongoing or upcoming donation initiatives that SNOC is involved in?

SNOC regularly supports charity and humanitarian organizations in Sharjah, with the Big Heart Foundation being a primary beneficiary, focusing on international relief efforts, particularly for refugees. Additionally, we launch fundraising campaigns in response to global disasters, encouraging employee donations with SNOC matching their contributions, sometimes even double matching. Over the years, we have initiated campaigns to support causes such as the volcano eruption in the Philippines, flooding in Sudan, the earthquake in Turkey, and most recently, aid for Gaza. We are formalizing a gift matching policy within SNOC, where SNOC will match employee donations to approved organizations year-round. While this practice is less common locally, we are committed to implementing this practice to support charitable initiatives and make a positive impact in our community.

What are the key goals and priorities for SNOC in the upcoming year?

Being a national oil and gas company, our primary focus is on exploration and production, currently active in exploration Areas A, B, and C in Sharjah with Eni and PTTEP. We are also exploring expansion beyond Sharjah. Finalized agreements for a solar plant mark a significant milestone, representing a new direction. Additionally, we are pursuing studies on carbon capture and storage, intending to materialize these into projects soon. Discussions with interested companies for carbon storage projects are underway. Since 2021, SNOC has become the main gas supplier to SEWA, utilizing its own gas production, gas imports and gas storage facilities to meet demand efficiently. Collaborating with universities, we are exploring opportunities in green hydrogen production, positioning us for potential expansion in renewable energy and the green hydrogen market.

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