Executives with Italy’s Eni and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) met to discuss the progress of the Italian company’s operations in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi including plans to potentially accelerate the Ghasha sour gas project and fast-track the offshore Block 2 development as well as others related to the energy transition.

The Milan-based oil giant’s projects in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) aim to assist the country achieve gas self-sufficiency, a strategy that aligns with ADNOC’s integrated gas strategy, which is focused on unlocking and maximizing value from Abu Dhabi’s substantial gas reserves. 

The meeting in Abu Dhabi was attended by UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and ADNOC Managing Director and Group CEO Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber and Eni CEO Claudio Descalz, Eni announced Sept. 12 in a press statement. Points discussed during the meeting included the progress of Eni’s activities, future projects and areas of common interest and collaboration.

Importantly, talks centered on plans to “accelerate the existing development project and the time-to-market of new exploration discoveries and international activities, in line with the common decarbonization strategy and with the purpose to contribute to increasing worldwide gas supply,” Eni said.

Additionally, the executives analyzed several initiatives aimed at strengthening joint work initiatives aligned with the industry-wide energy transition including deployment of renewable energy projects and reduction of carbon intensity. Talks also focused on development of a carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) project to offset emissions.

Abu Dhabi Sour Gas

Eni, which has had a presence in Abu Dhabi since 2018, is focused on numerous projects. However, the next project likely to add gas supply to the global market is its multibillion-dollar Ghasha project, which is the world’s largest offshore sour gas development, according to ADNOC.

Discussions between Al Jaber and Descalzi focused on the acceleration of the project, according to Eni. The project is expected to start around 2025, ramping up to produce more than 1.5 Bcf/d before the end of the decade, a communications executive with ADNOC told Hart Energy in an emailed response to questions.

The project will also produce over 120,000 bbl/d of high-value oil and condensates. Production from the project is tied to a 40-year concession, according to ADNOC.

Ghasha contains several standard trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas, according to Eni. Four artificial islands have already been completed and development drilling is underway, according to ADNOC. Eni holds a 25% stake in the Ghasha concession.

The Ghasha Field, like the Hail and Dalma fields, is located in the Al Dhafra region. Gas produced by the three fields is expected to fulfill more than 20% of the UAE’s gas demand.

The partners include Eni (25%), Wintershall DEA (10%), OMV (5%) and Lukoil (5%). ADNOC holds the majority 55%.

Abu Dhabi Block 2

Descalzi also “illustrated fast-track development options for the recent significant gas discovery in its first exploration well drilled in offshore Block 2 Abu Dhabi,” the company said. The project would leverage from others currently under execution and use ADNOC’s existing facilities to optimize costs and accelerate common production targets.

Initial drilling results in February 2022 from Eni’s first offshore Block 2 exploration well XF-002 indicated a range of 1.5-2 Tcf of raw gas in place in multiple good quality reservoirs of Jurassic exploration targets. Eni found another 1-1.5 Tcf of raw gas in place in July in a deeper zone, according to statements on the company’s website.

Eni operates Block 2 with a 70% stake. Its partner in the block is Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production Co. Ltd. (PTTEP), which holds the remaining 30% stake. ADNOC has an option to retain a 60% stake following a commercial discovery.