Adnoc awards Dh1.8bn contract to upgrade capacity at giant onshore field

The upgrade will sustain long-term production from the field, which produces Murban crude

A genral view taken on May 29, 2019 shows the sea front promenade in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi with the ADNOC headquarters (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company) office complex (C) in the foreground on May 29, 2019.  / AFP / Karim SAHIB
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Abu Dhabi National Oil Company awarded a Dh1.8 billion contract to upgrade capacity at its giant onshore Bab field, which produces the emirate's flagship Murban crude.

A subsidiary, Adnoc Onshore, granted a 39-month engineering, procurement, and construction contract to Greek company Archirodon Construction Overseas to maintain long-term crude production capacity at the field at 485,000 barrels per day.

"The Bab field already plays an important role in supporting Adnoc's production capacity mandates and this upgrade complements Adnoc's upstream growth plans," said Adnoc Onshore chief executive, Yaser Al Mazrouei.

"The project will enable us to minimise life-cycle costs on the field and will deploy cutting-edge technologies to allow us to progressively and efficiently unlock the full potential of the field’s existing assets and wells, while tapping into new reservoirs to sustain long-term production output," he added.

The UAE accounts for 4 per cent of global crude production, much of it sourced from fields owned and operated by Adnoc in Abu Dhabi. The national oil company is targeting increasing production capacity to 4 million barrels per day by 2020, from 3 million bpd at present. By 2030, the company sees output capacity hitting 5 million bpd. The UAE's total output for September was 3.08 million bpd, according to secondary sources cited by Opec.

Adnoc is targeting raising production capacity on the Bab field to 450,000 bpd by 2020 from 420,000 bpd presently. Around Dh1.35bn is expected to flow back into the UAE as a result of the capacity addition, Adnoc said.

The upgrade of the onshore field includes the development of producing wells as well as associated infrastructure to sustain output.

Separately, Adnoc signed an agreement with France's Total to deploy drones to explore for hydrocarbon assets in the emirate.

Thousands of seismic sensors are set to deployed aerially through a fleet of drones, in a first for the region, the company said.

The French oil major will pilot its automated seismic acquisitions system that will allow Adnoc to conduct aerial surveys in harsh environments, such as the desert, Adnoc's chief technology officer Alan Nelson said in a statement.

“The ultimate purpose of this collaboration is to be able to jointly develop a safer, faster, more efficient and cost-effective acquisition system to acquire 3D and 4D high-resolution seismic images of the subsurface, which can be processed in real-time to build a clearer understanding of the subsurface, lowering geoscience and drilling uncertainties and optimising field production," said Khadija Al Daghar, vice president research and technology development at Adnoc.

Adnoc announced significant new discoveries of 7 billion "stock tank" barrels of oil and 58 trillion cubic feet of conventional gas and 160tcf of unconventional gas last week, which will push the Opec producer's reserves to sixth position globally from seventh at present. The company launched its second licensing round in May, for which bids are expected to close on November 22. Five blocks are on offer, of which three are offshore and two onshore, stretching across an area of around 34,000 square kilometres.