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Abu Dhabi oil discovery gives a Dh160bn boost to economy

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Announced the discovery of 2 billion barrels of conventional oil reserves and 22 billion barrels of unconventional oil reserves

The Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) on Sunday approved a record Dh448 billion capital expenditure plan for Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) for 2021-2025 to enable smart growth.

In line with the ambitious plan, the energy major aims to drive over Dh160 billion back into the UAE economy between 2021-2025, said the SPC after a meeting chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Vice-Chairman of the SPC.

The unveiling of the Capex plan followed SPC’s announcement of 22 billion barrels of recoverable unconventional oil resources and an addition of two billion barrels of conventional oil reserves.

During the meeting, Sheikh Mohamed reaffirmed the support of the UAE President and Chairman of the SPC, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for Adnoc as the company continues to deliver sustainable value for the national economy through its 2030 strategy.

Sheikh Mohamed commended Adnoc’s agility and resilience, which has enabled the company to ensure zero interruptions to its operations while achieving its operational and financial targets, despite the tough market conditions.

The Crown Prince also praised Adnoc’s robust and proactive response to Covid-19 which continues to prioritize the health and safety of its people and ensure business continuity and Adnoc’s sustained contribution to the UAE economy.

“The inflow to the local economy will be enabled by Adnoc’s In-Country Value (ICV) program which is aimed at nurturing new local and international partnerships and business opportunities for the private sector, fostering socio-economic growth and creating job opportunities for Emiratis,” said the highest governing body of the oil and gas industry in Abu Dhabi.

At the meeting, the SPC gave approval for Adnoc to award exploration blocks in Abu Dhabi’s second competitive block bid round which was launched in 2019.

The SPC also reviewed Adnoc and ADQ’s recently announced joint venture, Ta’ziz, established to fund and develop chemicals projects within the Ruwais Derivatives Park. The meeting also reviewed the transformation in Adnoc’s Marketing, Supply and Trading Directorate, which has evolved to offer customers a broader service, while further stretching the value from every barrel that Adnoc produces, refines and sells.

Other SPC members who attended the meeting were Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan;. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber; Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei; Hamad Mubarak Al Shamsi; Dr. Ahmed Mubarak Al Mazrouei; Khaldoun Khalifa Al Mubarak; Eng. Awaidha Murshed Al Marar; Abdullah Nasser Al Suwaidi; and Suhail Faris Ghanem Al Mazrui.

Al Jaber said Adnoc is well-positioned to continue driving long-term and sustainable value for the UAE while creating opportunities for local businesses and private-sector jobs for Emiratis through our in-country value target.

“Today’s announcement by the SPC of the discovery of recoverable unconventional oil resources demonstrates how Adnoc is efficiently expediting the exploration and development of Abu Dhabi’s unconventional resources and marks a major milestone as the nation’s unconventional industry evolves. Importantly, the increase in the UAE’s conventional oil reserves sends a strong signal that Adnoc is leaving no stone unturned in unlocking value from our abundant hydrocarbon resources to ensure the UAE remains a long-term and reliable energy provider to the world for decades to come,” said Al Jaber.

The minister noted that despite the challenging market conditions, Adnoc delivered Dh62 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) to the UAE this year, taking the total FDI Adnoc has driven since 2017 to Dh237 billion. He expressed the SPC’s appreciation of Adnoc’s smart and innovative approach to strategic partnerships and investments which has resulted in the company completing several landmark transactions.

Adnoc’s Capex plan will enable it to drive upstream growth, progress downstream expansion and further strengthen the company’s marketing and trading capabilities to ensure it maintains its competitiveness and industry leadership position over the next 50 years.

“In parallel, we are developing large-scale capital projects in Ruwais to further stretch the margin from each barrel of oil we produce as we deliver on our downstream expansion strategy – at the heart of which are our plans to develop Ruwais into a dynamic, global hub for the UAE’s industrial growth and economic diversification – and we are strengthening our marketing, supply, and trading capabilities to unlock greater value from our products,” said Al Jaber. — [email protected]

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Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE’s mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.