Adnoc to tap 'previously uneconomical gas' to become net exporter of the fuel, CEO says

State-owned company is partnering with international oil players to achieve its target

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - HE Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, United Arab Emirates and Chief Executive Officer, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company at the Global Energy Forum 2019 at St. Regis, Cornice.  Leslie Pableo for The National
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Abu Dhabi National Oil Company will use technology and partnerships to help extract big reserves of “previously uneconomical gas” and put the UAE on the road to eventually become a net gas exporter, its chief executive said on Saturday.

“By thinking differently, applying technology creatively and adjusting our business model we will, for the first, time unlock huge reserves of previously uneconomical gas.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber told the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Forum, taking place in Abu Dhabi, that the UAE had "finally cracked the code that will put us on a path of gas self-sufficiency".

“Through creative collaboration we will maintain the UAE’s position as the second largest oil producer in the region” he said.

Adnoc is developing its gas caps in a bid to boost its output. Much of the UAE's gas is trapped in unconventional, sulphurous caps, also known as sour gas, which contains sulphur that has to be stripped to produce gas suitable for consumption.

The company could boost its unconventional gas reserves further after last year’s discovery of up to 15 trillion cubic feet of gas, an addition of 7.1 per cent to existing reserves. The discoveries will help the company keep producing liquefied natural gas, or gas cooled to liquid to be transported by tankers, to 2040.


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Adnoc began last year awarding stakes in its unconventional gas fields to international companies to help unlock the reserves.

The company awarded a 40 per cent stake in the Ruwais Diyab unconventional gas concession to French energy major Total.

Germany’s biggest energy producer Wintershall won a 10 per cent stake in the Ghasha ultra sour gas concession, the second foreign player to come on board the multibillion dirham project after Eni of Italy clinched a 25 per cent stake.

“As we prepare to cater to the future energy needs, we are reinventing our approach to partnership,” Dr Al Jaber said. “We are engaging strategic partners, partners who will actually put skin in the game, bring new technologies and open up new growth market opportunities for Adnoc.”

Adnoc is also using technology to help develop its reserves, while at the same time cutting costs and stretching the value from every barrel of oil produced by expanding its refining and petrochemical capacities, besides its oil and gas production.

“As we prepare for any market uncertainties that may lie ahead, minimising costs and maximising margins is, in our view, mission critical,” Dr Al Jaber said.

“By embedding Artificial Intelligence and digitisation we are building resilience and driving profitability across our operations.

"Predictive analytics is helping to reduce our maintenance cost, prevent shutdowns and avoid system failures.

"Big data is allowing us to make real time decisions in response to market movements and in line with industry trends,” he said.