press release

New gas find set to boost UAE energy sufficiency but imports still needed

February 5, 2020

A new gas discovery in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which local officials estimate to be holding about 80 trillion cubic feet of gas, will boost the country’s supplies, but more discoveries are needed to reach a goal of becoming net gas exporter by 2030, a Rystad Energy analysis shows.

The discovery, called Jebel Ali, is operated by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and is shaping up to be one of the world’s biggest gas finds in recent years.

Rystad Energy, the independent energy research and consulting firm headquartered in Norway with offices across the globe, notes that it is too early to conclude on Jebel Ali’s total volumes considering the find covers an area of 5,000 square kilometers and will need more appraisal wells to pinpoint the exact extent of the hydrocarbon spill point.

However, even if this new discovery turns out to have only 8 trillion cubic feet of recoverable resources – one-tenth of the preliminary official estimate – that would still be enough to enable UAE to become energy independent by 2030, potentially removing its reliance on import volumes from neighboring countries like Qatar. We also see a decline in domestic gas demand after 2030 that will further limit the need for imports.

In UAE, natural gas is the primary fuel for power generation, with electricity demand projected to reach 157 terawatt-hours by the end of this year. In addition, the country uses gas for reinjection into oil fields as part of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects. To meet this growing demand, the UAE is moving forward with development of sour-gas fields that were discovered in the 1980s.

Bar chart showing UAE natural gas supply and demand in billion cubic meters

Learn more about the discovery in UCube and GasMarketCube.

The announcement that ADNOC and Dubai have agreed to jointly develop the new gas find is a promising sign as this could expedite the development of the new resource and bring additional gas volumes by 2025. Another positive element is that the cost associated with bringing the shallow gas resource on stream is expected to be much lower than the more technically complicated development of Abu Dhabi’s sour gas reserves.

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Contacts

Palzor Shenga
Senior Upstream Analyst
Phone: +47 22 00 42 00
palzor.shenga@rystadenergy.com

 

Lefteris Karagiannopoulos
Media Relations Manager
Phone: +47 90228994
lefteris.karagiannopoulos@rystadenergy.com

 

About Rystad Energy
Rystad Energy is an independent energy research and business intelligence company providing data, tools, analytics and consultancy services to the global energy industry. Our products and services cover energy fundamentals and the global and regional upstream, oilfield services and renewable energy industries, tailored to analysts, managers and executives alike. Rystad Energy’s headquarters are located in Oslo, Norway with offices in London, New York, Houston, Aberdeen, Stavanger, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, Bangalore, Tokyo, Sydney and Dubai.