Dr Sultan Al Jaber with other Adnoc and OMV officials at the signing ceremony. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) on Wednesday awarded Austria’s OMV a 5 per cent stake in the Ghasha ultra-sour gas concession as the emirate aims to boost gas production and meet growing demand.

OMV joins Italy’s Eni and Germany’s Wintershall as partners in the Ghasha concession, which comprises the Hail, Ghasha, Dalma, Nasr, Sarb and Mubarraz sour gasfields, Adnoc said in a statement.

Eni was awarded a 25 per cent stake and Wintershall a 10 per cent stake in the concession in November. OMV will contribute 5 per cent of the project capital and operational development expenses.

“This agreement builds on, and extends, our strong partnership with OMV, who we collaborate with in key areas across the oil and gas value chain,” said Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Adnoc Group CEO who signed the deal with Dr Rainer Seele, chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of OMV.

“They bring extensive experience in sour gas operations, in Austria and Pakistan.

“Like Adnoc, they have a proven record working with mature and complex reservoirs. It will help ensure our investment, in the Ghasha concession, and maximise long-term returns for the benefit of ourselves, our partners and the nation.”

The Ghasha concession awards follow Abu Dhabi’s Supreme Petroleum Council’s approval of Adnoc’s integrated gas strategy, which will see the development, in phases, of Abu Dhabi’s substantial gas reserves, as the UAE moves towards gas self-sufficiency and aims to transition from a net importer of gas to a net gas exporter.

The project is expected to produce over 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day when it comes on stream around the middle of the next decade, enough to provide electricity to more than two million homes. Once complete, the project will also produce over 120,000 barrels of oil and high-value condensates per day.

Over the project’s lifetime, Adnoc expects substantial benefits to flow back into the UAE economy under its In-Country Value programme, which is intended to stimulate commercial opportunities for local businesses, catalyse socioeconomic development and create additional employment opportunities for UAE nationals.

In addition to developing the Ghasha concession area, Adnoc also plans to increase production from its Shah sour gasfield to 1.5 billion cubic feet per day and move forward to develop the sour gasfields at Bab and Bu Hasa.

Adnoc also plans to tap gas from its 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.

OMV is currently collaborating with Adnoc in a number of areas. In April, it was awarded a 20 per cent stake in Abu Dhabi’s Sarb and Umm Lulu offshore concession. The Austrian firm is also a shareholder in Borealis, Adnoc’s partner in Borouge, and, in May 2017, Adnoc and OMV agreed to work together to explore potential opportunities in downstream business.