Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber and Darren W. Woods reviewed the progress of the Upper Zakum Development which remains on track to hit 1 million bpd production capacity by 2024. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and US energy giant Exxon Mobil are exploring new opportunities for collaboration in the upstream and downstream sectors and are planning to spend more than $8 billion (Dh29.38 billion) in addition to the current investment of $22 billion to boost production capacity at Upper Zakum development.

Adnoc and Exxon Mobil are currently partners in the Upper Zakum oilfield, the world’s fourth largest, where expansion work is taking place to increase production capacity to 1 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2024.

“Our existing partnership with Exxon Mobil on the Upper Zakum field is a prime example of how Adnoc engages with world-class partners that bring expertise and advanced technology to unlock value from our resources, for mutual benefit, and deliver the greatest possible returns to the UAE,” said Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and group CEO of Adnoc, in a statement on Tuesday.

“We are keen to strengthen this strategic partnership across the entire value chain, as we accelerate delivery of our 2030 smart growth strategy.”

The comments come as the two energy giants explore new opportunities to boost cooperation in various energy sector segments as Abu Dhabi targets 4 million bpd production capacity by 2020 and 5 million bpd by 2030.

New opportunities in conventional and unconventional oil and gas exploration, as well as in gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG), are being discussed to boost cooperation.

“We have shared many successes in the UAE together over the past 80 years, most notably with Adnoc in the Upper Zakum joint venture, and we look forward to building on this strong foundation,” said Darren W. Woods, chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil.

Woods and Al Jaber reviewed the progress of the Upper Zakum Development which remains on track to hit 1 million bpd production capacity by 2024.

“The joint success between Adnoc and ExxonMobil on Upper Zakum is a testament to what is possible when national and international energy companies work together,” Woods added.

Adnoc is cooperating with US companies across its entire value chain, and this has strengthened in recent months.

In October 2018, Baker Hughes, a GE company, acquired a 5 per cent stake in Adnoc’s subsidiary, Adnoc Drilling, in a transaction that valued Adnoc Drilling at approximately $11 billion (Dh40.3 billion).

In addition, in February this year, Adnoc signed an agreement awarding Occidental Petroleum an onshore block following Abu Dhabi’s first-ever competitive exploration bid round.

Adnoc also collaborates with Occidental in onshore sour gas production and processing through Adnoc Sour Gas, a joint venture company between Adnoc, which owns a 60 per cent share and Occidental, which owns a 40 per cent share.

The Upper Zakum oilfield, located offshore Abu Dhabi, is the second-largest offshore oilfield and the fourth-largest oilfield in the world.