x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Abu Dhabi awards new oilfield deals

Companies hired to perform preliminary work on two untapped Gulf oilfields.

Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO) has awarded two contracts for preliminary work on the development of two untapped Gulf oilfields. The deals with the US engineering company Fluor for engineering and design work on the development of the Umm Lulu and Satah al Razboot oilfields advance the plans of ADMA-OPCO, a unit of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), to develop several of its smaller offshore deposits over the next few years.

"This is an especially important day in the history of ADMA-OPCO as the company starts a new stage of production development from the new fields," said Ali al Jarwan, the company's general manager, at a signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi. Fluor will design offshore oil production facilities and undersea pipelines, as well as onshore processing and storage facilities and utilities on the Abu Dhabi mainland and Zirku Island, which is 140km offshore.

Peter Oosterveer, the president of the energy and chemicals division at Fluor, said the new oil projects were "important for the economic growth and development of Abu Dhabi". Since 1977, the ADNOC-led oil consortium, whose other partners are BP, Total and Japan Oil Development, has focused its attention on the giant Umm al Shaif and Lower Zakum oilfields in the Gulf. But this year, it started awarding contracts for work on several small fields, including Umm Lulu, Satah and Nasr.

ADMA-OPCO is seeking to double its oil output to 1 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2019 as part of a wider plan to boost Abu Dhabi's oil production capacity by 23 per cent to 3.5 million bpd. That includes a plan to lift the emirate's total offshore oil production capacity to 1.75 million bpd from 1.1 million bpd. Analysts have said these targets are unattainable without the development of new fields.

Umm Lulu is expected to produce 100,000 bpd of crude when the two-phase project is complete. Fluor's recent contract relates to the second development phase, which aims to raise output from an initial 22,000 bpd to the final level. In February, ADMA-OPCO asked the Australian company WorleyParsons to conduct an engineering study for the first phase of Umm Lulu, and provide management consultancy services.

An earlier proposal for the Satah oilfield development had called for the production of 25,000 bpd starting at the end of last year. tcarlisle@thenational.ae