The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has announced that the emirate is to invest $25bn in its offshore oil industry over the next five years.
The investment is part of a wider plan by the United Arab Emirates to increase its crude oil output potential to 3.5 million barrels per day by 2017-18, from the current production of around 2.8 million bpd.
Speaking at the Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference in Abu Dhabi, Qasem al-Kayoumi, manager of ADNOC’s exploration and production directorate, offshore division, said that annual investment in offshore drilling would reach $2.5bn, and that the company would drill around 160 new wells in the coming years. Describing the offshore drilling ramp-up, Kayoumi said ‘the number of rigs has built up considerably in offshore, it could be more than a 50 percent increase.’
Kayoumi also provided current production figures for the ADMA-OPCO and ZADCO offshore fields, which combined are producing 1.2 million bpd. With the new investment ADNOC expects this figure to increase to approximately 1.6 million bpd. The ADMA-OPCO concession is due to expire in 2018, and the company is currently preparing for a renewal. Kayoumi stated that ADNOC hopes the renewal would involve ‘our (existing) partners and future partners.’
Another of Abu Dhabi’s major fields is the Upper Zakum, which is being developed by ExxonMobil. ADOC stated that there are plans to boost production capacity from the field to 750,000 bpd by 2017-18, with the possibility of a further increase to 1 million bpd by 2024.