Abu Dhabi’s state-owned Adnoc today announced the discovery of up to 1bn bl of oil equivalent at its onshore block 4 that is operated by Japanese upstream firm Inpex.

“The discovery comprises substantial Murban oil resources and represents the first find from this concession area as well as from a new geological formation,” Adnoc said in a statement today.

The block covers 6,116km² and stretches from the city of Abu Dhabi to the boundary with the emirate of Dubai. The exploration well was drilled following Abu Dhabi’s combined onshore and offshore 3D seismic survey. It will now be appraised to further quantify the resources, the statement said.

Block 4 was awarded to Inpex as part of Abu Dhabi’s first ever exploration bid round in 2019 covering six blocks. Inpex and Jodco operate the block with a 100pc stake, but Adnoc has the option to take a 60pc stake during a potential production phase of the concession.

It contains two existing undeveloped oil and gas fields named Ramhan and Hudairiat, and is also close to the onshore oil producing fields of al-Dabb’iya and Rumaitha as well as the offshore of Umm al-Dalkh field.

Inpex, in which the Japanese government holds a 18.94pc stake, has significant interests in Abu Dhabi’s upstream oil industry. It has a 12pc stake in the 750,000 b/d offshore Upper Zakum field, a 10pc stake in the offshore Lower Zakum field, and a 40pc stake in the smaller Satah and Umm al-Dalkh offshore fields, all part of the Adnoc Offshore unit.

Earlier this month, Adnoc raised its conventional oil reserves estimate by 4bn bl, taking its total to 111bn bl. This was the third consecutive increase in proven reserves in as many years. More than half the new reserves are Murban-grade, Adnoc’s flagship light sour crude. It also added another 16 trillion ft³ of natural gas, taking reserves to a total of 289 trillion ft³.

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