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The UAE’s Zakum Development Company (Zadco), operator of the Upper Zakum offshore field, has awarded an extension to a 2008 redevelopment contract to Amec Foster Wheeler. When completed in 2017, Upper Zakum, already one of the world’s largest offshore oil fields with current production of just under 600,000 b/d, will have capacity to produce 1mn b/d and maintain that level until 2050.
Already, the gradual ramp-up in production from Upper Zakum has helped to push up the UAE’s overall oil output to record levels since late last year. According to direct monthly submissions to the Opec Secretariat, the UAE has managed to boost overall output beyond 3mn b/d for the first time in July. Output rose to 3.06mn b/d last month from an average 2.794mn b/d in 2014, according to the Opec data. MEES estimates put output somewhat lower at 2.88mn b/d for July and 2.78mn b/d for 2014, but the trend is clearly up with the country maintaining record numbers of drilling rigs, despite the more than halving of oil prices over the past year (see graph).
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