The UAE’s flagship oil and gas company Adnoc has made a gas discovery of 15 trillion cu ft and a crude oil discovery of 1 billion barrels, Abu Dhabi’s Supreme Petroleum Council said Sunday at the presentation of the company’s five-year business plan until 2023.

The discoveries come at a time when the whole region is seeking to increase its production capacity in both oil and gas. For the UAE, more gas production is particularly important because despite its loyalty to Saudi Arabia, the country needs Qatari gas to satisfy its energy demand.

The discoveries, Adnoc reported, were made in six untapped blocks that were open for exploration earlier this year. According to the company, they might contain several billion barrels of oil on top of the 1 billion barrels already estimated. However, these estimates have been made before exploratory drilling begins, which is scheduled for the first quarter of 2019 when the first exploration and production licenses will be awarded by Adnoc.

For now, the company only said the gas production boost will come from three blocks, Hail, Ghasha, and Dalma, which, when development begins, will add 1.5 billion cu ft daily of natural gas to Adnoc’s gas production. This, the company said, will help it sustain LNG production until 2040, allowing it to “seize incremental LNG and gas-to-chemicals growth opportunities, where they arise, from the UAE’s dynamic demand/supply position and evolving energy mix.”

In oil, Adnoc said it planned to boost its oil production capacity to 4 million bpd by 2020 and further to 5 million bpd by 2030. To date, Adnoc produces around 3 million bpd of crude, but by December this year it has ambitions to boost this to 3.5 million bpd.

Adnoc’s chief executive, Sultan Ahmed al Jaber noted that global oil consumption is seen to rise by 10 million bpd by 2040 and gas demand rising by 40 percent. These are both opportunities a company such as Adnoc cannot afford not to seize as long as the price environment allows it.

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