EIA: UAE seeks 30% production boost

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported today (23 October) that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) intends to increase its production 30% by 2020 using EOR techniques. 

For the UAE, EOR technologies will be the best way to proceed in boosting its oil production as prospects for further oil discoveries are low, the EIA said. And while low oil prices may make these EOR projects uneconomical, the EIA said the UAE is willing to invest in future production.

The Upper Zakum oilfield is one region that has been targeted for further development. The field is the second largest offshore oilfield and fourth largest oilfield in the world, according to the EIA. Upper Zakum currently produces about 590,000 bo/d.  

In January 2015, OE’s Elaine Maslin reported that the Zakum Development Co. (Zadco), a partnership between ADNOC, ExxonMobil, and JADCO (Japan Oil Development Co.), is currently expanding the Zakum field, with for four new artificial islands and additional satellite platforms. The offshore facilities are due to complete in 2015, with the islands completing next. Upper Zakum sits 84km northwest of Abu Dhabi. It already comprises some 90 platforms, including an accommodation platform able to house 550 people. Zadco says Zakum contains some 50 billion bo.

In August 2015, Zadco awarded Amec Foster Wheeler an extension to its project management consulting contract for the UZ750 project, which began in 2008, to redevelop the Upper Zakum field.

In July 2012, EIA says, Zadco awarded an US$800 million engineering, procurement, and construction contract to Abu Dhabi's National Petroleum Construction Co., with the goal of expanding oil production at the Upper Zakum field to 750,000 bo/d by 2016.

The UAE also wants to boost production from the Lower Zakum field, with oil production eventually reaching 425,000 b/d, an increase from the current level of 345,000 b/d.

According to EIA data, the UAE was the world's sixth largest oil producer last year, and the second largest producer of petroleum and other liquids in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), behind only Saudi Arabia. However, UAE produced an average of 3.5 MMb/d, only slightly edging out Iran, 3.4 MMb/d, which has notably been affected by western sanctions.  

Image: Zadco’s Zakum supercomplex, offshore Abu Dhabi. Photo from Tony Cavill.

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