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Abu Dhabi National Oil Company could boost its unconventional gas reserves further after last year’s big discovery and may launch a second licensing round for oil and gas blocks, a company official said.

The state-owned firm announced last year the discovery of up to 15 trillion cubic feet of gas, an addition of 7.1 per cent to existing reserves. Much of the UAE's gas is trapped in unconventional, sulphurous caps, also known as sour gas. Sour gas contains sulphur that has to be stripped to produce gas suitable for consumption.

“We will continue to appraise our unconventional base in Abu Dhabi and there’s potential to go beyond the ones we announced last year,” Adnoc upstream director Abdulmunim Al Kindy said on Wednesday at the UAE Energy Forum taking place in Abu Dhabi.

“We’re sizing all opportunities, both conventional and nonconventional for oil, gas, and as we de-risk and quantify these resources, we generate enough motivation for partners to come in.”

Adnoc began last year awarding stakes in its unconventional gas fields to international companies to help unlock the reserves.

The company awarded a 40 per cent stake in the Ruwais Diyab unconventional gas concession to French energy major Total.

Germany’s biggest energy producer Wintershall won a 10 per cent stake in the Ghasha ultra sour gas concession, the second foreign player to come on board the multibillion dirham project after Eni of Italy clinched a 25 per cent stake.

The UAE is increasingly pivoting to gas as it frees up more crude for exports. Abu Dhabi’s Supreme Petroleum Council approved last year a five-year capital expenditure plan of Dh486 billion for Adnoc to increase capacity, unlock its sour gas caps, and develop and acquire downstream capabilities at home and abroad.

Adnoc, which launched last year a licensing round for six oil and gas blocks, could “possibly” start another round after awarding the first contracts, Mr Al Kindy added.

Source: The National

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