ADNOC is currently unlocking potential unconventional gas resources as part of its integrated gas strategy so that the UAE will become gas self-sufficient by 2030. In November 2019, the Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) announced the discovery of 160 trillion standard cubic feet (scf) of recoverable unconventional gas resources, offering the potential to fuel the UAE with gas far into the future.
Already, ADNOC is instrumental in meeting 50% of the UAE’s natural gas needs. By adding unconventional gas to the UAE’s gas portfolio, an additional 1 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) will be unlocked from the Ruwais Diyab concession before 2030, potentially contributing to ADNOC’s ambition to become a net gas exporter while powering the nation for generations to come.
Unconventional gas is natural gas that is trapped in tiny rock pores and is often hard to reach. It can be unlocked by using innovative technology and methods such as hydraulic fracturing to bring it to the surface.
Keen on maximizing the value of untapped resources, ADNOC launched its Unconventional Gas Exploration Program in 2016. Early production of the UAE’s first unconventional wells demonstrates their potential to compete with the current production of prolific USA wells such as Marcellus. Moreover, ADNOC was one of the first companies in the region to explore, drill, and appraise unconventional gas resources. To date, as many as 90 hydraulic fracturing operations have been completed in the UAE.
In its drive to achieve gas self-sufficiency by 2030, ADNOC is upscaling unconventional gas operations, by unlocking additional resources and strengthening the commercial viability of unconventionals in the UAE. The company has leveraged global industry expertise and best practices to drive efficiency through the entire unconventional gas value chain.
In November 2018, ADNOC signed the region’s first unconventional gas concession agreement with TOTAL, granting a 40% stake in the Ruwais Diyab Unconventional Gas Concession, while ADNOC retained a 60% stake. This strategic partnership will enable both companies to work together towards a common goal: to explore, appraise, and develop the Ruwais Diyab
Unconventional Gas Concession for the benefit of the nation and its people. This includes a seven-year exploration and appraisal phase, which will be followed by a 40-year development and production term.
Committed to driving innovation, ADNOC has adopted proven technologies used in the production of unconventional oil and gas from other regions of the world and tailored them to the UAE’s unique environmental conditions and reservoir formations. Forging a new value-added strategic partnership with Baker Hughes has equipped ADNOC Drilling, an ADNOC company, with the capability to deliver the entire drilling value chain using hydraulic fracturing technology. This technology has been deployed specifically to maximize gas recovery.
ADNOC will continue to expand its unconventionals exploration portfolio by unlocking further unconventional gas resources and continuously de-risking projects while quantifying untapped gas resources.
As part of its commitment to environmental stewardship, ADNOC is proactively improving environmental efficiencies of its unconventionals operations. Currently, the company is funding research and development to improve water efficiencies associated with the unconventionals operations so it can minimize water usage, implement best practices in water management, and reduce the operational carbon footprint.
ADNOC is empowering talented UAE nationals to lead the development of unconventionals in the UAE by creating exciting talent development opportunities. In 2018, a young female Emirati engineer supported the UAE’s first hydraulic fracturing campaign in Ruwais Diyab. Several young Emirati engineers have also received training through the Youth Development Exchange Program (YDP) that offers courses in unconventionals. Such training and mentoring programs are adding instant value to the UAE’s workforce and ADNOC’s on-site unconventionals capabilities.