(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The UAE continues to benefit from strong oil prices and hydrocarbon projects worth 50 billion are on track
At the close of the turb
The UAE and other oil producing nations continued to benefit from the strong oil prices in 2012, which has brought additional revenues and strengthened the economic indicators.
ulent year that saw sanctions on Iran oil exports and Libya returning to international markets, most analysts do not see a threat to Brent crude prices in 2013.
The most sought-after commodity is likely to trade above 100 a barrel for a third consecutive year in 2013 despite the Syrian civil war as global demand is buoyed by Chinese economic growth.
"Oil will average 110 this year," according to the median of 30 forecasts compiled by Bloomberg, compared with about 111.68 a barrel in 2012.
Brent is more likely to overshoot the 2013 median than miss it as Iran spars with the West over its nuclear programme and the conflict in Syria deepens, Morgan Stanley and UBS said.
Iran's oil exports have collapsed 50 per cent from year-ago levels because of tightened restrictions on sales imposed by the US and Europe last summer, the International Energy Agency said.
Daily exports will probably slide to about one million barrels early next year, compared with 2.5 million at the start of this year, the Paris-based adviser to consuming nations said in a December 12 monthly report.
Barclays predicts that 2013 will be the year when Western governments decide whether to accommodate or confront the country.
All these forecast are reassuring for Abu Dhabi's economy which grew 6.8 per cent in 2011 and five per cent in 2012. It is expected to continue its growth trajectory in the next three years through 2017 by growing 5.7 per cent riding on the strong oil prices and its rising output.
The economic growth march that Abu Dhabi is forecasting is designed by its policy makers to a great degree as their timely planning and execution of 50 billion worth hydrocarbon development projects are progressing very well. Some have started operations while others are under way. These projects were conceived in pre-global crisis period but executed after the crisis.
The leadership showed its foresight to continue the massive development projects even when others had put on hold their construction and development projects due to financial crisis.
The bold initiative paid off as construction material prices fell 30-40 per cent, which slashed the project costs massively.
One such project is the 360km long Habshan-Fujairah oil pipeline, a Dh10 billion scheme that has started transporting 1.5 million barrels of oil per day bypassing the Strait of Hormuz to the newly built terminals on the Indian Ocean.
The strategically important project went into operation last year to not only secure the transportation of oil to global customers but will also boost the economy of Fujairah, where the International Petroleum Investment Company, or Ipic, is planning to develop a 200,000 barrel a day capacity oil refinery, to add value to the project.
The oil sector expanded 9.4 per cent in the year, as Abu Dhabi's oil output climbed to 2.5 million barrels a day up against 2.3 million a year ago, while the exports reached 2.3 million bpd.
Higher growth means higher revenues for Abu Dhabi Government, which increased 41.3 per cent year-on-year, showing the impact of petroleum sales that soared 55 per cent.
Oil, gas and oil products exports rose to Dh393.439 billion while the non-oil exports climbed to Dh11.478 billion in the year.
Abu Dhabi's petrochemical industry showed robust output with production rising 38.5 per cent to 2.789 million metric ton in 2011, bringing additional revenues and business to Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, or Adnoc's under construction mega projects are progressing very well to increase the targeted production in coming two to five years.
Abu Dhabi plans to boost its oil production capacity to 3.5 million barrels per day in 2017 from 2.5 million barrels in 2010.
In an organised manner, Adnoc tendered dozens of hydrocarbon projects to increase its production capacity and upgrade the old facilities that required necessary investments.
One of these projects involves boosting the production capacity of Adco's onshore fields from 1.4 to 1.8 million barrel a day by 2017. This means the comprehensive development of a group of fields and reservoirs, including Asab Field development to increase sustainable production from 290,000 to 340,000 barrel a day.
The expansion also involves the development of Sahil and Shah fields to increase their production capacity so that Sahel could double its output to 100,000 bpd from 55,000 bpd, while Shah's production capacity reaches 70,000 bpd from 50,000 bpd.
The Jasyoura Field will accommodate two gas separation lines in a new central plant due to be operational by the end of March 2013.
Adnoc is also developing Adco's Thammama and Habshan-2 reservoirs to boost production to 80,000 bpd. Habshan-1 is also under development, the first package of which is estimated to increase the production by 30,000 bpd by the end of 2014.
Likewise, the development of North East Bab fields are expected to increase sustainable production to 230,000 bpd by 2016 (for Rumaitha Field) and by 2017 for Al Dhabiya Field.
Adma-Opco, Adgas and Gasco, on the other hand, are vigorously working in the final phases of the IGD project, which will provide the national grid with one billion feet per day of natural gas. Adma-Opco's package involves the development of Habshan marine platform.
Adgas has almost finished the installation of the gas processing facilities on Das Island which will dehydrate and compress the gas received from Adma-Opco and send it through a 30-inch subsea pipeline to Gasco's Habshan facilities for further processing before it is sent to Abu Dhabi.
The IGD's overall execution percentage stands now at 75 per cent.
Adma-Opco is also involved in the development of Zakum Lower Field to increase its production by 100,000 bpd by 2016.
The company is also planning to develop new fields like Razbot and Umm Lulu to process, store and ship 105,000 bpd by the common facilities.
Nasr Field, which is expected to process 65,000 bpd and the shipment of the crude for final processing, storage and shipping to Das facilities. These projects are expected to increase Adma-Opco's oil production to 970,000 bpd by 2020.
Zadco's development of Upper Zakum Field is one of the biggest ongoing projects. The projects facilities are to be installed on four artificial islands that are being constructed and connected to the present facilities to increase oil production to 750,000 bpd by 2017.
The development of natural gas resources is on the top of Abu Dhabi's agenda, as it is spending 25 billion on it. It has set up a new firm Al Hosn Gas to develop its Shah Field, which is known for sour gas, that has higher levels of sulphur. This project will add 500 million cubic feet of gas per day, which will be used by the fast growing heavy industries.
According to sources the project is progressing well with 70 per cent of the industrial facilities and piping works already finished. Also 25 per cent of the drilling of the 32 wells is complete.
Production is expected to start at the end of 2014. Other development plans for the field are also considered after evaluating the results of the first phase.
Abu Dhabi holds an estimated 227 TCF of natural gas, a large proportion of this is associated with oil production.
The oil and gas industry is waiting for Abu Dhabi to announce the names of the companies short listed for the long term concessions for the 1.4 million barrel per day off shore capacities. After the approval from the Supreme Petroleum Council of Abu Dhabi, the oil companies will submit their proposals to run the oil fields, about half the capacity of Abu Dhabi. The renewal of concessions will come up in 2014.
In 2013, Adnoc expanded its scope of partners by involving Korea's state run Korea National Oil Corporation on a smaller concession with a 40 per cent stake in the blocks with estimated reserves of 570 million barrel.
The current concession partners include Shell, ExxonMobil and Total.