Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Co is assessing the feasibility of building 2 artificial islands off the emirate’s coast so that drilling crews can explore for oil at an untapped field, a senior executive said today.
The company, known as Adma-Opco, estimates that crude from this undersea field and from 2 others where it is conducting tests will add a combined 270,000 barrels a day in production capacity.
Adma-Opco has a nominal production capacity now of 600,000 barrels a day, chief executive officer Ali Rashid Al Jarwan said at a conference in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE.
Adma-Opca, a unit of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co, the state run producer known also as Adnoc, will decide early next year whether to build the islands. The targeted increase in capacity would become available by 2017, Al Jarwan said.
The construction of artificial islands will enable Adnoc to cut costs by 30 percent at a separate project called Zakum Development Co, which includes Exxon Mobil Corp, Adnoc’s projects manager Salah Al Bufalah said in October 2009.
Zakum could save billions of dollars by building islands to support offshore drilling equipment instead of using offshore rigs, Frank Kemnetz, middle east vice president of Exxon Mobil Upstream Ventures, said on November 10 of last year.
Al Jarwan said, Adma-Opca is also expanding production at existing fields, which it expects will contribute 100,000 barrels a day in additional capacity by 2014.
The company is producing below its nominal capacity because of the output quota the UAE faces as a member of the organization of petroleum exporting countries, he said.
Oil producers in the Arabian Gulf are seeking to increase capacity on expectations that demand will recover from the global economic slump. Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest producer, has expanded its output capacity to more than 12 million barrels a day.
Abu Dhabi, the largest of the seven sheikhdoms comprising the UAE, aims to increase its capacity to 3.5 million barrels a day by 2018 from about 2.8 million barrels.
The UAE is the third largest member of OPEC, which supplies about two-fifths of the world’s oil. Abu Dhabi holds more than 90 percent of the country’s oil reserves.
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