GASCO is the operating company in Abu Dhabi responsible for processing onshore natural gas and associated gas from onshore oil production.
The Company was incorporated in 1978 as a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) as majority shareholder (68%), Shell Abu Dhabi (15%), Total (15%) and Partex (2%).
In April 2001, Abu Dhabi Gas Company (ATHEER), wholly owned by ADNOC, was integrated with GASCO, this being followed in March 2004 by the transfer to GASCO the responsibility for operating the Asab Gas Plant, also wholly owned by ADNOC. GASCO is now one of the largest gas processing companies in the world and one of the biggest industrial projects in the UAE.
On Tuesday, 31st March 2009, GASCO Shareholders signed the GASCO’s Joint Venture Agreement renewal, in a clear signal that the initial 30 year Joint Venture (1978 – 2008) has accomplished its objectives. The new Agreement will be for 20 years from October 2008 till September 2028.
GASCO processes associated and non-associated gas, to produce Network Gas (mainly Methane C1), Ethane C2, Propane C3, Butane C4, Paraffinic Naphta or C5+ and Condensate. It also produces Sulphur as a by-product of sour gas processing.
The gas processing and the extraction of Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) takes place at four desert plants, the Habshan-Bab Gas Complex, the Bu Hasa NGL Plant, the Asab NGL Plant and the Asab Gas Plant. The NGLs are transferred to the Ruwais Fractionation Plant, where they are processed to produce Ethane, Propane, Butane and Pentane+. Ethane is exported to Abu Dhabi Polymers Company Ltd. (Borouge), while Propane, Butane and Pentane+ are stored in special tanks for later shipment worldwide via the loading facility at the GASCO Ruwais Jetty.
The condensate produced at the Habshan and Asab AGP plants is shipped by pipeline the two oil refineries at Ruwais and Umm Al-Nar, operated by the Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company (TAKREER).
The network gas is used as fuel for power generation and water desalination plants, field plants, refineries and other facilities in the UAE. The Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) is the largest gas consumer in Abu Dhabi. Gas is also used as feed-stock for the fertiliser plant at Ruwais operated by FERTIL. Other gas consumers include the Emirates Cement Factory in Al Ain, Zayed Military City and the steel mill and other industrial consumers in Abu Dhabi Industrial city at Mussafah. Large quantities of gas are also delivered to DUSUP (Dubai Supply Authority) in Jebel Ali (Dubai).