Business | Oil & Gas

Oil in Dubai: History & timeline

A look at Dubai's history and key moments in oil production and export

  • Gulf News archives
  • Published: 16:13 February 4, 2010

Timeline:

  • 1966: Oil is first discovered in Dubai at the offshore Fateh field
  • 1969: Dubai starts to export of oil. The first export shipment of oil produced from the field Fateh was around 180 thousand barrels
  • 1972: Oil drilling exploration wells begin operations in the field at Falah. Producation begins June 1978
  • 1973: A new oil field is discovered at Rashid and production begins in March 1979
  • 1982: Another oil field was discovered at Margham, production started in 1984.
  • 1999: Dubai government owned Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) opens the first oil refinery of the company and follows a fully owned subsidiary. The refinery, which costs around Dh1.5 billion and produces 120 thousand barrels per day.
  • 2000: Dubai joins the Dolphin project, signing a memorandum of understanding  to provide the Dubai Supply Authority with Qatari gas through the project (Dolphin)
  • 2007: Dubai Petroleum assumes control of all oil and gas related projects in Dubai, following negotiations with international oil companies.

Overview

Dubai has approximately 4 billion barrels of oil in reserve and holds the second place in terms of oil reserves in the UAE. Dubai Petroleum Co (DPC) is the main operator in the emirate. Dubai’s oil production peaked in 1991 at 410,000 b/d and has been steadily declining ever since.

Dubai’s oil reserves have reduced over the past decade and are now expected to be exhausted within 20 years. The main fields are offshore: Fateh, Southwest Fateh and two smaller fields, Falah and Rashid. The only onshore deposit is the Margham field. Dubai Petroleum Company (DPC) is the main operator.

The production of condensate from the onshore Margham field is running at around 25,000 b/d. Margham, previously operated by Arco International Oil and Gas Company, is now run by the Dubai Margham Establishment, which is wholly owned by the Government of Dubai.

The government of Dubai owns the National Oil Company (ENOC), and this company handles the oil operations in Dubai, The Emirates Petroleum Products (EPCO) is associated with the ENOC, which distributes petroleum products to more than 125 distribution stations in Dubai and Northern Emirates.

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