Adnoc Review

Quest for gas yields oil

ABU Dhabi started drilling this year for unconventional hydrocarbon resources, and the early indications are that the emirate has more oil than gas in the shallower source rock, a senior official from Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc) says.

“Wells are being drilled this year and next year dedicated to the unconventional resources,” says Adnoc deputy director for Strategy and Coordination, Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi. “I think we have significant potential.”

Adnoc is targeting two to three onshore areas near the emirate’s big producing oil fields, Al Suwaidi says.

The state operator is trying to prove up more gas resources, as Abu Dhabi – and the United Arab Emirates as a whole – faces considerable future gas deficits due to steep rises in power and industrial growth, plus injection requirements to support 3.5 million barrels per day of production by 2020. The boom in shale gas in North America has prompted gas-short countries in the Mideast, such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia, to start examining source rocks in hydrocarbon-rich provinces.

However, the early results have revealed unconventional oil, not gas, in Abu Dhabi. “Unfortunately, it is more on the oil side than the gas side, but the first steps are examining the potential,” the official says.

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