The Abu Dhabi government and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) signed the first of a series of concession agreements with Italy’s multinational oil and gas company, ENI, awarding it a 25 percent stake in its offshore ultra-sour gas mega project.
The Ghasha Concession consists of the Hail, Ghasha, Dalma and other offshore fields. Eni will contribute 25 per cent of the development cost of the multi-billion US dollar project.
The announcement follows the Supreme Petroleum Council’s approval of ADNOC’s new gas strategy, targeted to unlock and maximise value from Abu Dhabi’s substantial available 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 concession, which has a term of 40 years, was signed by His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO and Claudio Descalzi, CEO of ENI.
Over the project’s life-time, substantial benefits will flow back into the UAE economy under ADNOC’s In-Country Value program, which is designed to stimulate commercial opportunities, for local businesses, catalyse socio-economic development, develop an ultra-sour gas hub for the region and create additional employment opportunities for UAE nationals.
H.E. Dr Al Jaber said: “ADNOC is committed to ensuring a stable and economic gas supply to the UAE, which is a core component of our 2030 strategy. Development of our Hail, Ghasha and Dalma ultra-sour gas offshore resources, at commercial rates, will make a significant contribution towards delivering that strategic imperative and bringing forward the day when the UAE will not only be self-sufficient in gas but also transitions to net exporter of gas.”
“In combination with ADNOC’s leading experience in ultra-sour gas, Eni’s field development experience supports the accelerated delivery of gas from the Hail, Ghasha and Dalma fields. At the same time, it will enable the further optimization of costs and ensure we extract the maximum value from our gas resources, as we continue to partner with those who share our values and contribute to our growth strategy.”
ADNOC is in discussion with further potential partners, for the remaining 15 percent of the available 40 per cent stake in Ghasha concession, earmarked for foreign oil and gas companies.
The Hail, Ghasha and Dalma ultra-sour gas project will tap into the Arab basin, which is estimated to hold multiple trillions of standard cubic feet of recoverable gas. The project is expected to produce more than 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day when it comes on stream around the middle of the next decade. The Ghasha Concession is expected to produce enough gas 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 condensate per day.
Descalzi, said: “We are pursuing a strategy of growing in the Middle East and today's signature is further confirmation of our willingness to root our presence in Abu Dhabi, following the agreements signed last March, with ADNOC. Today's agreement is further proof of the strong alliance with such an important partner as ADNOC and of the proof of confidence in our globally recognised upstream model, based on the integration of exploration and development. This has allowed us to achieve extraordinary results over the last years in exploration, as well as in developing our discoveries in a record time-to-market.”
The Hail, Ghasha and Dalma project will apply state-of-the-art smart technologies. It will leverage the latest digital innovaions to ensure remote access to all key activities across the project’s natural and artificial islands, platforms and well-head towers. All the project’s remote facilities will be operated from a single control center, in Al Manayif that will be able tom respond immediately whenever changes or interventions are needed. The utilization of smart technologies will enable ADNOC to unlock more value from the gas reserves and reduce human exposure to the operations, as well protecting the environment and investment alike.
In addition to developing the Ghasha Concession area, ADNOC also plans to increase production from its Shah field to 1.5 billion cubic feet per day and move forward to develop the sour gas fields at Bab and Bu Hasa. 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.
In developing the Hail, Ghasha and Dalma Arab reservoirs, ADNOC will capitalize on its world-leading expertise and successes in ultra-sour gas development, gained from the development of the Shah Arab reservoir, creating an ultra-sour gas hub for the region.
In March, Eni was awarded a 10 percent interest in ADNOC’s Umm Shaif and Nasr concession and a five percent interest in the Lower Zakum concession. The awards marked the first time an Italian energy company had been given concession rights in Abu Dhabi’s oil and gas sector.
Eni is active in 73 countries, including Italy, North, West and East Africa, the Norwegian Continental Shelf, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caspian Sea, Indonesia and Australia, and Southern Europe, the Middle and Far East, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Russian Barents Sea and Alaska.