Adnoc shuts largest onshore field for planned maintenance

The Bab field, which produces the flagship Murban crude, will be offline for four weeks

An oil pipeline control head sits on display outside the entrance to the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) headquarters in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. Adnoc is seeking to create world’s largest integrated refinery and petrochemical complex at Ruwais. Photographer: Christopher Pike/Bloomberg
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The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company is shutting down its largest onshore oil field for planned maintenance until the end of July, a company spokesman said.

The Bab field produces over 370,000 barrels per day of the emirate’s flagship Murban crude grade.

The planned shutdown is expected to begin at the end of June, according to Adnoc.

"The maintenance is expected to last for approximately four weeks," the Adnoc spokesman said. The field will be taken offline for the duration of the maintenance, he added.

The UAE is Opec’s third-largest producer, accounting for 4 per cent of global oil production. Much of the UAE’s output comes from onshore and offshore fields in Abu Dhabi.

The oil producer is slashing production as part of its agreement with Opec+, which earlier this month extended a pact to cut back 9.7 million bpd until the end of July.

The UAE’s output for June averaged 2.464m bpd, energy minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said earlier this month. Abu Dhabi voluntarily cut an extra 100,000 bpd in May and June to help rebalance markets amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, the producer is on track to increase its output capacity to 5m bpd by 2030 as oil prices reach normal levels in “two or three years”, Mr Al Mazrouei said earlier.

"We have tested our capacity back in April, when there was no deal and we reached a new milestone which was 4.2m bpd and our capacity is something we will only use outside the deal,” he said.

Adnoc is targeting raising production capacity on the Bab field to 450,000 bpd by 2020, up from 420,000 bpd presently. The company awarded a Dh1.8 billion contract to upgrade capacity at the field last year.

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 bpd.