Abu Dhabi Ramps Up Offshore Drilling But Targets Remain Elusive

Abu Dhabi’s offshore drilling is set to hit a new record in 2016 as it continues to invest despite the slump in oil prices since the second half of 2014. Despite this, offshore development plans are running behind schedule and there is a high likelihood of further delays.

Abu Dhabi aims for offshore production to provide half of its output in the medium term as it strives for both onshore and offshore gains. After dipping in the first quarter this year, Abu Dhabi has had 20 or more operational rigs drilling offshore in July and August according to data from service firm Baker Hughes, the first time it has had consecutive months at this level since November 2015. Although at 21, July’s figure remains significantly below the level of 26 hit in November 2015,

drilling is proving resilient to the oil price slump that is hitting government

revenues hard.

Abu Dhabi’s oil and gas export revenues – excluding LNG – slumped from $89bn in 2014 to $50bn in 2015 according to official trade statistics. Oil and gas exports, as defined by the official stats, represented 79% of export revenues last year: obviously including LNG, never mind petchems and other oil and gas derivatives, would raise the figure well above this. (CONTINUED - 1315 WORDS)

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table Key UAE Offshore Fields