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Abu Dhabi Boosts Gas Output at Bab Field

Source: Bloomberg 3/5/2013, Location: Middle East

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Abu Dhabi is seeking to increase natural gas output by 25 percent from its largest onshore oil field by 2018 to help meet burgeoning domestic demand.

State-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., or ADNOC, plans to produce 1.8 billion standard cubic feet a day of gas condensate from the Bab field once it starts operating a compression plant it inaugurated last week, the company’s onshore production unit said in an advertisement in local newspapers yesterday. ADNOC didn’t specify Bab output.

Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates and holder of most of its oil reserves, wants to raise gas output to fuel power plants and supply metals and petrochemicals industries to create jobs and diversify its energy-reliant economy. The emirate holds 2.9 percent of the world’s gas reserves and 6 percent of its oil, according to data from BP Plc (BP/)’s annual statistical review.

Crude oil and gas are typically found together in underground reservoirs, along with condensate, a light liquid that can be processed to yield additional fuel.

Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations, the unit known as ADCO that runs the emirate’s land-based fields, plans to add compression stations in two building phases at the Bab field by 2018, the company said.

Seeking Bids
The second compression facility will boost gas production to 2.1 billion standard cubic feet a day by the third quarter of 2015, with a maximum capacity of 2.4 billion feet a day, ADCO said. The company said it’s seeking engineering and construction bids for this project.

The planned expansions, together with the compression unit inaugurated last week, will provide the 25 percent increase in gas output, the company said, without indicating a final production target.

ADNOC, which has capacity to pump 2.8 million barrels a day of oil, is working to raise that level to 3.5 million barrels by 2017, the company said in November. Production at the onshore fields it operates will rise to 1.8 million barrels daily, while offshore deposits or areas not yet developed will contribute the rest of the increase, it said.

Abu Dhabi is in talks with Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), BP and other international oil companies about the renewal of onshore oil-production concessions that expire next year.

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