The signing for Adnoc’s contract awarded to CNPC was witnessed by Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber and Wang Yilin, Chairman of CNPC. Image Credit: Courtesy: Adnoc

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) on Thursday awarded contracts worth Dh5.88 billion ($1.6 billion) to an affiliate of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to conduct the world’s largest 3D onshore and offshore seismic survey to find new oil and gas reserves.

The contract was awarded to to BGP Inc, a subsidiary of CNPC represented in the UAE by Al Masaood Oil Industry Supplies & Services Company.

The survey covers up to 53,000 square kilometres of area with 30,000 square kilometres of offshore and 23,000 square kilometres of onshore area, according to Adnoc.

The agreement was signed on the eve of a state visit to the UAE by China’s President Xi Jinping, by Abdul Munim Al Kindy, Adnoc’s Upstream Director and Gou Liang, President of BGP.

“The scale of the project shows Adnoc’s commitment to upstream investment and to bolstering our oil and gas reserves and production for the long-term. The award, following a highly competitive bid process, also represents another key milestone in Adnoc’s thriving partnership with CNPC, and the UAE’s strategic energy partnership with China,” Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Adnoc Group CEO, said in a statement.

Using seismic streaming vessels and ocean bottom nodes to acquire data in Abu Dhabi waters, and vibrator trucks to survey the onshore desert areas, the survey is scheduled to be completed by 2024.

The national oil company has recently announced Abu Dhabi’s first ever block licensing strategy with the launch of six geographical oil and gas blocks open for bidding, and the seismic project will include areas within these blocks with the data made available at a fee to the successful bidders.

“Adnoc has embarked on an ambitious project to explore and unlock hydrocarbon reserves and BGP is best placed to bring industry leading technology to Abu Dhabi to support this programme. This agreement also strengthens our growing and successful relationship with Adnoc creating a platform for further energy collaboration between us,” said Wang Yilin, Chairman of CNPC.

The UAE and China have a number of partnerships in the UAE’s energy sector, starting in 2014, when Adnoc and CNPC established the Al Yasat joint venture.

More recently, in February 2017, CNPC and China CEFC Energy were awarded minority stakes in the UAE’s onshore oil reserves and in March of this year, CNPC, through its majority-owned listed subsidiary PetroChina, was granted a 10 per cent interest in each of the Umm Shaif and Nasr and Lower Zakum offshore concession areas.