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Mon 1 Dec 2008 03:42 PM

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ADNOC plans major boost to oil capacity by 2017

Abu Dhabi oil company set to increase output by 400,000 barrels per day.

The largest operating unit of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) plans to boost oil production capacity by more than 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) by 2017, it said on Monday.

ADNOC pumps most of the crude produced in OPEC member the UAE, the world's fifth-largest oil exporter. The country's expansion plans slipped this year amid global cost inflation in the energy industry and a tight market for contractors, labour and raw material.

The UAE now plans to raise its total crude capacity to 3.5 million bpd from 2.8 million bpd by 2017, five years later than previously planned.

As part of those plans, ADNOC's onshore unit, the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) plans to boost its capacity to 1.8 million bpd in 2017 from 1.4 million bpd, ADCO's general manager Abdul Munim Al Kindi said in a statement on Monday.

The increase will come from completion of four major projects. The first would cost $4.5 billion and was aimed at both sustaining current capacity and adding around 100,000 bpd more, Kindi said.

The project includes the replacement of assets over 35 years old, upgrading and adding new facilities in three of ADNOC's fields. It would also connect satellite fields, he added.

The rises in capacity will start with 197,000 bpd by 2013, an additional 94,000 bpd the following year and the remaining 133,000 bpd by 2017, Kindi said.

"The project will also allow us to accommodate oil from new remote satellite fields, starting 2013," he said.

Other projects in different phases will be awarded from 2009 and they include the Bab field, Al Qemzan, Qusahwira and the North East Abu Dhabi fields, Kindi said.

ADCO was looking at using carbon dioxide for reinjection at oilfields instead of natural gas to enhance oil recovery Kindi said. It has plans ready to test reinjection at the Bab oilfield, and is also studying the potential for a big reinjection at the North East Abu Dhabi fields, Kindi said.

Abu Dhabi government-owned Masdar plans to build a country-wide pipeline system to capture emissions and transport the gas to inject in oilfields to maintain pressure and boost oil output. Aside from cutting emissions, the plan would also free up natural gas that the UAE needs for power generation.

ADCO is 60 percent owned by ADNOC. BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, and Exxon Mobil each have 9.5 percent stakes. Partex owns the remaining two percent.

The UAE pumped around 2.5 million barrels per day in October, according to a Reuters survey. (Reuters)

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