Source: Emirates 24|7
Abu Dhabi emirate is pushing ahead with a multi-billion dollar project to tap a remote gigantic gas field to avert any supply disruption in the future and officials said the project would begin pumping gas on schedule in late 2014.
The project at Shah Field, just near the emirate’s border with Saudi Arabia, was launched a few years ago and it could pump as much as one billion cubic feet per day when it is fully commissioned, they said.
The state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company ( ADNOC ), which manages the emirate’s massive hydrocarbon sector, is carrying out the project with the help of the US company ConocoPhillips and costs are expected to top $10 billion.
ADNOC officials have admitted the project faced topographic and geological hurdles but said this would not affect plans to bring it on stream on time.
“Abu Dhabi has managed to overcome all obstacles and challenges facing the Shah project,” ADNOC ’s Director General Abdullah Nassir Al Suwaidi said in an article published in the annual oil and gas book released recently by Wildcat International, a London-based oil and gas research firm.
“We expect the field to being production in late 2014 as planned….this will largely support gas supplies in the emirate in the future.”
ADNOC controls 60 per cent of the project while ConocoPhillips owns 40 per cent. Industry sources had earlier estimated cost at $10 billion but said later the cost could largely surpass that level because of higher construction expenses.
The project involves the world’s longest liquid sulphur gasline at around 300 km while a pipeline with a capacity of one billion cubic feet of gas per day will pass through the desert to feed Ruwais processing facilities.
Located around 10km from the Saudi border, the Shah Field covers an area of around 400 square km and is believed to contain large gas deposits, most of which are sour with high sulphur concentration.
Shah, one of the largest upstream hydrocarbons contracts to be carried out by the UAE, is part of a massive investment programme by Abu Dhabi to expand its gas resources and meet a rapid growth in demand due to a steady expansion in the industry sector and power generation facilities.
Besides local production, the UAE is getting around two billion cubic feet of Qatari gas per day through the Dolphin underwater pipeline.
The UAE has the world’s fifth largest gas wealth of around 6.5 trillion cubic metres after those in Russia, Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. But the bulk of those deposits are sour gas which is mostly associated with crude.
In a recent study, a GCC analyst said the UAE might need to rely more on imported gas and set up alternative energy projects to ensure is fast-growing gas needs.