The Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company has awarded a local contractor a Dh2.8 billion order to develop the Umm Lulu offshore oilfield, as part of its drive to almost double its output by 2020.
The National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC) has clinched the first of two packages that will turn the field into a producing asset.
Umm Lulu is one of the three fields that Adma-Opco, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), will develop, as the company seeks to ramp up output to 1 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of the decade.
Offshore oil is key to achieving Abu Dhabi's target to boost production capacity to 3.5 million bpd by 2017. Current capacity stands at 2.7 million bpd, with Adma contributing 600,000 bpd, according to the company.
"The contract signing comes under the guidance of Abu Dhabi Government and the support of the Supreme Petroleum Council and the shareholders," said Ali Rashed Al Jarwan, Adma's chief executive. BP, Total and Japan's Jodco hold minority stakes in the subsidiary.
Umm Lulu will produce about 100,000 bpd once it has been developed. Together with the Satah Al Rasboot (Sarb) and the Nasr fields, it is expected to raise Adma's output sufficiently to meet the 2020 target.
Adma in April awarded contracts worth US$2.4 billion to develop the Sarb field. Petrofac and South Korea's Hyundai Engineering & Construction will complete the bulk of the construction, which includes the creation of a falcon-shaped artificial island. Sarb will add about the same amount of oil as Umm Lulu.
The development of the Nasr field has yet to be put to tender.
NPCC, which is majority owned by the Abu Dhabi industrial group Senaat, will install six wellhead towers and a riser platform, pipelines and fibre optic cables at Umm Lulu.
The second package for Umm Lulu is wider in scope than the first and worth about twice as much as the NPCC deal. According to the Middle East Economic Digest, France's Technip and South Korea's Samsung Engineering resubmitted their proposals after the lowest bidder, the Italian contractor Saipem, had its $1.5bn bid disqualified.
In the same month as Adma struck the Sarb deals, the Zakum Development Company (Zadco) - another Adnoc subsidiary - awarded a $3.7bn package to develop the Upper Zakum megafield to Petrofac Emirates and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.
The first package was awarded last year, and the upgrade will boost capacity at the world's second-largest offshore oilfield by 50 per cent to 750,000 bpd.
Offshore production will also be crucial in adding to Abu Dhabi's gas supplies, Mohammed Sahoo Al Suwaidi, the director general at Adnoc's Gas Directorate, told The National this month.