His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, chairs a Supreme Petroleum Council meeting at Adnoc headquarters along with Shaikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser and Vice-Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi on Sunday announced the new discovery of gas totalling 15 trillion standard cubic feet that is expected to enable the UAE achieve self-sufficiency in gas and potentially become a net gas exporter.

Currently, Abu Dhabi is tapping sour gas through the Shah gas project in the Western region of Abu Dhabi. The project reached its full production capacity of one billion cubic feet per day and there are plans to increase the capacity further. The UAE also imports gas from its neighbouring countries to meet the demand through Dolphin gas project.

“The gas strategy will sustain LNG production to 2040 and allow Adnoc to seize incremental LNG and gas-to-chemicals growth opportunities, where they arise, from the UAE’s dynamic demand or supply position and evolving energy mix,” Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) said in a statement on Sunday.

Under the new gas strategy, Adnoc will develop the Hail, Ghasha and Dalma project that taps into Abu Dhabi’s Arab formation, which is estimated to hold multiple trillions of cubic feet of recoverable gas. The project is expected to produce more than 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day.

Adnoc will also unlock other sources of gas, which include Abu Dhabi’s gas caps and unconventional gas reserves, as well as new natural gas accumulations, which will continue to be appraised and developed as the company pursues its exploration activities.

“The incremental increase in our oil production capacity will enable Adnoc to continue to be a reliable and trusted energy supplier that has the flexibility and capacity to respond and capitalise on the forecasted growth in demand for crude,” said Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, Minister of State and Adnoc Group CEO.

“At the same time, the substantial investments we will make, in the development of new and undeveloped reservoirs, gas caps and unconventional resources, will ensure we can competitively meet the UAE’s growing demand for power generation and industrial use.”

“While responding to domestic demand, we will maintain our international commercial commitments and seize incremental LNG and gas-to-chemicals growth opportunities.”

He also said the world is on the verge of consuming 100 million barrels of oil per day, with oil consumption increasing by an additional 10 million barrels per day by 2040.

Over the same period, demand for natural gas will increase by 40 per cent, while the market for higher-value polymers and petrochemicals will grow by 60 per cent.

According to Adnoc, one of the challenges in developing parts of gas resources has been the ‘sourness’ of parts of Abu Dhabi’s gas. However, a number of factors, including the gas pricing reforms introduced in 2016, enabling more market-based pricing, the availability of more advanced technology and Adnoc’s growing and industry-leading experience in developing sour gas reservoirs are making it possible for the company to unlock more gas resources and increasing value extraction.

 

Competitive bidding

Earlier this year, the Abu Dhabi Government announced the decision to open six geographical oil and gas blocks that hold multiple billion barrels of oil and multiple trillion cubic feet of natural gas for competitive bidding. The first exploration and production licences are expected to be awarded in the first quarter of 2019.

Adnoc also announced new oil discoveries of one billion barrels as the company tries to boost production capacity to 4 million barrels per day by 2020 and five million barrels per day by 2030.