Abu Dhabi Boosts Oil Output in $40 Billion Plan

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. is pumping about 1.5 million barrels of crude a day from its main onshore fields and is halfway through a planned $40 billion investment plan, company officials said.

The state-owned energy producer has boosted capacity at its largest land-based deposits to about 1.6 million barrels daily from 1.4 million before the expansion, Fareed Abdulla, senior vice president at Abu Dhabi Co. for Onshore Oil Operations, the partnership which operates the fields, said in Abu Dhabi late yesterday. The ADCO venture will raise overall capacity to 1.8 million barrels a day by the end of 2017, he said.

Abu Dhabi is in the middle of a five-year, $40 billion plan aimed at boosting oil and natural gas output and expanding petrochemical and refining facilities, said Mohammed Sahoo Al Suwaidi, head of the gas directorate at Adnoc, as the state producer is known. Both spoke at a media reception in Abu Dhabi.

Middle Eastern producers are seeking to meet rising demand for gas as their economies and populations expand, boosting power use by industry and in homes. Abu Dhabi is the largest sheikhdom and capital of the United Arab Emirates, and produces most of the nation’s oil. The U.A.E. is the fourth-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, trailing Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait.

Gas developments account for $25 billion of the planned investment and Abu Dhabi is studying “a whole list of potential reservoirs” in onshore and offshore areas to further increase supply, Sahoo Al Suwaidi said late yesterday. He declined to say which fields would be developed next or to give a timeline for further expansion.

1939 Pact

Adnoc operates the ADCO venture along with partners Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), BP Plc (BP/), Total SA (FP) and Partex Oil & Gas in the latest version of an oil production agreement that dates back to 1939. The most-recent four-decade-long oil production concession is set to expire in January. The partners and other companies interested in working on the onshore fields are set to submit bids for the onshore oil rights by October.

Abu Dhabi plans to raise crude production capacity in the emirate to 3.5 million barrels a day by the end of 2017. The planned capacity expansion includes the ADCO deposits as well as offshore fields and areas outside the concession.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony DiPaola in Dubai at adipaola@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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