Sharjah reveals first new onshore natural gas discovery in three decades

Sharjah National Oil Company and Eni's partnership reveals the 'Mahani' natural gas well in the emirate

The Sharjah National Oil Corporation and its Italian partner ENI, have announced a successful new discovery of natural gas and condensate onshore at the Mahani field in Sharjah. The discovery of at Mahani-1 exploration well with flow rates of up to 50 million standard cubic feet per day comes within the first year of the partnership and represents the first onshore discovery of gas in the Emirate since the early 1980’s. Mahani-1 well was drilled at a total depth of 14,597 feet, which resulted in the discovery of gas with the associated capacitors in the formation of the Thumama. The size of the discovery will be estimated in time in light of expectations for further evaluation and development. Courtesy: Sharjah Government Media Bureau
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Sharjah said it discovered a new well of natural gas and condensate onshore in the emirate, its first in more than three decades.

State-owned Sharjah National Oil Corporation (Snoc) and Italy's oil company Eni discovered the "Mahani" exploration well within the first year of their partnership, Snoc said in a statement on Monday. Mahani-1 was drilled to a total measured depth of 14,597 ft and the well has tested gas at flow rates of up to 50 million standard cubic feet per day, together with associated condensate. The size of the discovery will be further evaluated in "due course" with additional drilling expected, Snoc said.

"This discovery is a promising development for Snoc and meets our commitment to make reliable gas supplies available throughout the United Arab Emirates,” Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, President of Snoc, said. “Sharjah provides strategic energy infrastructure to help the nation meet the growing demand for energy by residential, industrial and utility consumers.”

The Italian oil and gas company had won three concessions in Sharjah's first-ever competitive bid in January 2019. Snoc, which launched the bidding round in 2018, awarded Eni areas A, B and C onshore exploration concessions. Mahani-1, located in the area B concession, is the first exploration well drilled by Snoc following a 3-D seismic survey of the territory.

“I am delighted that the first exploration well to be drilled in Sharjah by Snoc, is a gas discovery. This is the first onshore Sharjah discovery in 37 years and marks the beginning of an exciting time for Snoc and for Sharjah’s energy sector," Hatem Al Mosa, chief executive of Snoc, said. "We look forward to further collaboration in the future."

Snoc, the operator of area B, and Eni hold a 50 per cent stake each in the concession.

The two companies are also partners in concession areas A and C, which are both located onshore Sharjah.

"Mahani-1 represents the first exploration success for Eni in the UAE," the Italian oil major said in a statement on its website.

The joint venture has started studies to "fast track the exploitation of these new resources, leveraging on the synergies with the existing facilities and infrastructures, while finalizing the evaluation of the discovery," Eni said.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi said the discovery is set to bolster the emirate's economy and contribute to its energy reserves, according to a separate statement from the Sharjah Government Media Bureau.

The discovery will bring about a "major transformation" in Sharjah's industrial and commercial sectors by providing energy resources and attracting top global companies to invest in various sectors in the emirate, Sheikh Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi said.

Sheikh Khalid bin Abdullah bin Sultan Al Qasimi, chairman of the Department of Seaports and Customs in Sharjah, said the natural gas discovery will stimulate various sectors by generating more commercial and industrial projects.