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UAE ADNOC-Conoco Gas JV Eyes Start-Up in 2014

Source: Reuters 3/30/2010, Location: Middle East

The United Arab Emirates $10 billion Shah gas project will start-up by the second or third quarter of 2014, even though ConocoPhillips has yet to make a final investment decision on it.

But the chief executive of the joint venture of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) and Conoco, remains cautiously optimistic of the U.S company's commitment to the project.

"Once they (ADNOC and Conoco) both agreed to launch the first package, that was good news, now how will it end up we will wait and see," Saif Ahmed al-Ghafli told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event.

Conoco, the third largest U.S. oil company, has recently embarked on a two-year plan to divest some assets and reduce refining capacity to boost returns and reduce debt as it plays catch up with its oil major peers.

To hit its start-up target, the joint-venture group will have to launch and award the main Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts by the summer to hit its target, Ghafli said.

"Well we will have to do it very soon...this summer," he said.

The Shah gas development is the first in the UAE of a sour gas field. The OPEC oil exporter has the world's fifth-largest gasreserves, much of it sour or with a high sulphur content.

ADNOC holds a 60 percent stake in Shah, while Conoco holds the remainder.

The project, which will be implemented in three phases, will process about 1 billion cubic feet per day of sour gas from 20 wells.

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