Photo: ADNOC

Eni and ADNOC looking into ways to strengthen energy security by expanding gas supply

Against the backdrop of the current global energy crisis, which has pushed energy security concerns to the forefront, the UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Italy’s Eni are contemplating options to explore further opportunities, which would enable them to increase the security of gas supply, as an important transition fuel that emits less carbon than coal.

Eni disclosed on Monday that Claudio Descalzi, the firm’s Chief Executive Officer, and His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and ADNOC Managing Director and Group CEO, met in Abu Dhabi on 12 September 2022 to discuss the progress of the company’s activities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, future projects and areas of common interest and collaboration.

In line with the common decarbonisation strategy, the two players aim to accelerate an existing development project and the time-to-market of new exploration discoveries and international activities to contribute to increasing the worldwide gas supply.

In lieu of this, Al Jaber and Descalzi discussed the acceleration of the multi-billion-dollar Ghasha project, which is estimated to hold significant recoverable gas and is expected to produce more than 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day (bcfd) in addition to more than 120,000 barrels of high-value oil and condensates per day.

In regards to this project, ADNOC awarded ADNOC Drilling two substantial contracts in late July 2022, totalling $2 billion. These deals were awarded for integrated drilling services and the provision of four Island Drilling Units at ADNOC’s Hail and Ghasha gas development project, which is part of the Ghasha Concession – the world’s largest offshore sour gas development and a key component of ADNOC’s integrated gas masterplan as well as an important enabler of gas self-sufficiency for the UAE.

Furthermore, during the meeting, Descalzi illustrated fast-track development options for the recent significant gas discovery in its first exploration well drilled in Block 2 offshore Abu Dhabi, leveraging the other projects currently under execution as well as utilising existing ADNOC facilities with the aim to “optimize costs and accelerate common production targets.” Eni serves as the operator of the block and has a 70 per cent stake while its partner, PTTEP, holds the remaining 30 per cent.

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Moreover, Al Jaber and Descalzi analyzed several initiatives aimed at strengthening the partnership in the frame of the energy transition by deploying renewable energy projects and other initiatives to reduce carbon intensity. The focus was on the development of a carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) project to offset carbon emissions and “deliver significant environmental, social and economic benefit to involved stakeholders.”

Eni, which has been present in Abu Dhabi since 2018, operates Blocks 1, 2 and 3 with a 70 per cent interest during the exploration phase. Additionally, the Italian firm holds a 5 per cent interest in the Ghasha offshore concession, in the development phase along with interests in the giant Lower Zakum (5 per cent) and Umm Shaif/Nasr (10 per cent) offshore producing concessions, in the production phase.

Eni also holds a 20 per cent stake in ADNOC Refining, which operates in the Ruwais and Abu Dhabi areas, with an overall refining capacity of more than 900,000 barrels a day. The Italian player says that the Ruwais complex is fourth in the world in terms of production.