The UAE plans to produce 22,000 tonnes of sulphur a day by
2015, which positions it to be a leading world sulphur exporter, said an
executive at state-owned Abu Dhabi Gas Development Co (ADCO).
Production at the high sulphur Shah gas project being developed
by Occidental Petroleum and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is planned
to start by 2014.
By 2015 the field is expected to produce around 9,200 tonnes
of sulphur per day, said Tareq Sahoo, supervisor of operations at ADCO.
"Once the Shah project starts, we expect sulphur
production in the UAE to reach 22,000 tonnes per day which will be the largest
production in the world, surpassing Canada," he told reporters at an industry
event in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
The bulk of the production will be exported to China, India
and Morocco, said Sahoo.
"There is strong demand for sulphur in a number of
countries so we are not too worried about demand because it's there," he
Sulphur is used in the manufacturing of fertilisers and
sulphuric acid, which is used in oil refining, wastewater processing and
Currently ADNOC has no plans to process the sulphur
domestically, but with large amounts of the material being extracted, potential
projects might be developed.
Engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for
the Shah project's sulphur station are expected to be awarded early next month,
said Sahoo, declining to give details on its value.
Occidental won the contract to participate in the sour gas
project earlier this year after US major ConocoPhillips pulled out of the
bidding last April.
ADNOC will not be looking for additional partners, said
"ADDOC has the experience in dealing with sour gas and
the decision is to work with Oxy as our only partner in this project."
After completion of the Shah project, the next step would be
the issue of a tender for the development of the Bab gas field, said Sahoo.
"We are not sure who will be the partner for that, it could be Oxy or
The UAE, the world's third-largest oil exporter, launched a
tender in 2007 to develop the Shah and Bab fields. The complexity of developing
both fields led Abu Dhabi to split the tender and give priority to the Shah
The UAE holds the world's seventh-largest gas reserves, at
around 227.1 trillion cubic feet, according to BP statistics. Much of the UAE's
gas is sour.
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