UAE: Oil & Gas Licensing Abu Dhabi Opens Maiden Exploration and Production Bidding Round
One of the world’s largest hydrocarbon super-basins has opened six oil and gas blocks in the region for licensing. The two offshore and four onshore blocks comprise an area of almost 30,000 sq km and the first bid round is expected to conclude this year.
Abu Dhabi/UAE – The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) recently announced as part of Abu Dhabi’s first ever block licensing strategy and on behalf of the Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC), the details of the initial round of six geographical oil and gas blocks open for bidding. This follows the announcement last month by His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Adnoc Group CEO that Abu Dhabi was to launch its first ever competitive exploration and production bid round.
The licensing strategy represents a major advance in how Abu Dhabi unlocks new opportunities and maximizes value from its hydrocarbon resources. It is also consistent with Adnoc’s approach to expanding its strategic partnerships across all areas of its business. The successful bidders will enter into agreements granting exploration rights and, provided defined targets are achieved in the exploration phase, be granted the opportunity to develop and produce any discoveries with Adnoc, under terms that will be set out in the bidding package.
The UAE is the world’s seventh largest oil producer, with about 96 % of its reserves within the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Located in one of the world’s largest hydrocarbon super-basins, there remains undiscovered and undeveloped potential in the numerous stacked reservoirs. Based on existing data from detailed petroleum system studies, seismic surveys, log files and core samples from hundreds of appraisal wells, estimates suggest these new blocks hold multiple billion barrels of oil and multiple trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
Some of the blocks already have discoveries, and within the combined area there are 310 targeted reservoirs from 110 prospects and leads. In addition to the country’s conventional oil and gas accumulations, some of the offered blocks also contain significant unconventional resource potential.
The six blocks open for bidding, two of which are offshore and four are onshore, cover an area of between 2,500 and 6,300 square kilometres, which, by comparison, is up to three quarters of a UK North Sea quadrant, consisting of 30 blocks. In total, Abu Dhabi’s six blocks comprise an area of almost 30,000 sq km.
The closing date for the receipt of bids will be in October, after which Adnoc will evaluate the bids, using the criteria set out in the bidding instructions, and the SPC will award the successful bidders. The first bid round is planned to conclude this year.