DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Abu Dhabi’s state-owned oil and gas company announced Thursday the discovery of between 1.5 to 2 trillion standard cubic feet of raw gas in an offshore area located in the emirate’s northwest.
The discovery comes as Gulf Arab states continue to rely heavily on profits from oil and gas exports, despite rising global temperatures and climate change from burning fossil fuels. The United Arab Emirates, where Abu Dhabi is capital, was the first Gulf Arab state last year to join other countries around the world in pledging “net-zero” emissions targets within its borders — while maintaining fossil fuel exports abroad.
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, also known as ADNOC, said the discovery came about in partnership with a consortium led by Italy’s Eni and Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production Company Limited, which were awarded concession rights in the area. The 2019 agreement saw Eni and PTTEP vowing to invest $230 million to explore for oil and gas and appraise existing discoveries in two blocks spanning a total of 8,000 square kilometers (3,000 miles).
For their natural gas discovery, the companies relied in part on insights from a massive 3D seismic survey underway in Abu Dhabi, according to ADNOC.
ADNOC Managing Director and CEO Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber hailed the discovery. He said it speaks to the company’s commitment to partnerships that help Abu Dhabi explore and develop its untapped hydrocarbon resources.
In December, ADNOC announced the discovery of up to 1 billion barrels of oil in another block of Abu Dhabi.
The U.S. Energy Information Agency cites figures estimating the UAE holds the seventh-largest proven reserves of natural gas in the world at over 215 trillion cubic feet.
The country, which lies on the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula along the Persian Gulf, has some 98 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, with about 96% of that located in Abu Dhabi. The United Arab Emirates is among the world’s 10 largest oil producers, with most of the country’s oil and gas wealth concentrated in Abu Dhabi.
Despite its large natural gas fields, the UAE also imports natural gas due to its extensive domestic use in operating power plants and desalination plants.