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Abu Dhabi to Raise Oil Output From Marginal Fields

Source: Bloomberg 2/8/2010, Location: Middle East

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Abu Dhabi, the largest sheikhdom in the United Arab Emirates, aims to raise oil production from fields that haven’t been considered economically viable to maintain output at 1.8 million barrels a day from 2017.

State-controlled Abu Dhabi Co. for Onshore Oil Operations, or Adco, wants to boost output from marginal deposits by 250,000 barrels a day by 2017, Abdul Munim Saif al-Kindy, general manager of the company, said at a seminar today. The company’s total production will rise from about 1.4 million barrels day.

Persian Gulf producers are seeking to increase capacity on expectation demand will recover after the global economic slump crimped fuel consumption. Saudi Arabia, the largest OPEC producer, has expanded its capacity to more than 12 million barrels a day and kept a third of that idle amid low demand.

“We will have rising demand for oil and a need for new supply,” al-Kindy said at a press briefing. “If our production targets are to be maintained, there’s a need for marginal fields and the need to develop a strategy to bring costs down.”

Adco may have 6 billion barrels of potentially recoverable crude in about a dozen marginal fields. The company aims to cut development costs at fields from which it is harder and more expensive to extract oil to make them economically viable.

25 Years

Adco will seek to keep capacity at 1.8 million barrels for 25 years, al-Kindy said. Developing marginal fields would cost $10 a barrel or more if done with current technology and methods, Khalid Sahouh, an official at the planning unit, said.

The U.A.E. holds about 8 percent of the world’s crude reserves with most of that in onshore and offshore deposits in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., Adco’s biggest shareholder, aims to boost its total output to 3.5 million barrels a day by 2018.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA, Exxon Mobil Corp., BP Plc and Partex are also partners in Adco.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s biggest producer, is pumping more than 8 million barrels of oil a day and has spare capacity of about 4 million barrels a day, Chief Executive Officer Khalid al-Falih said last month at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Global demand will grow by 1 million barrels a day and reach 105 million barrels a day by 2030, al-Falih said.

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