According to the UAE state-owned company, the upgrade is to re-energize the oil field which was discovered in 1953 and had been in production since 1958. The Bab field is located about 80km west of Abu Dhabi islands.

ADNOC says that the upgrade of the field is a crucial step towards execution of the group’s 2030 smart growth strategy.

As part of it, the company is looking to expand its crude oil production capacity and cut down on cost to create a more profitable upstream business.

UAE Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: “The decision to modernise our production infrastructure at the large Bab field, is another clear signal that ADNOC is making smart investments to increase production capacity, enhance the long-term productivity and maximize the profitability of Abu Dhabi’s oil reserves, as we create a more profitable upstream business, in line with our Supreme Petroleum Council approved 2030 growth strategy.”

ADNOC expects to increase the current production capacity of 420,000 barrels of oil per day to 450,000 barrels of oil per day by the year 2020 by upgrading operations at the maturing Bab oil field.

To achieve this, the company has awarded an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Corporation (CPECC), a subsidiary of China National Petroleum (CNPC).

To upgrade the oil field, ADNOC will deploy cluster drilling in which several oil wells will be co-located in one place. This method is expected to bring down cost as well as the environmental impact of drilling operations.

The company will also introduce digital oil field technology at the Bab field to monitor and analyze performance of the wells in a remote manner.

ADNOC upstream director Abdulmunim Al Kindy said: “The Bab field already plays an important role in achieving ADNOC’s production capacity target of 3.5 million barrels of oil per day over the course of 2018.

“The deployment of advanced digital oil field management technologies is a crucial enabler if we are to optimize recovery and deliver a more profitable upstream business, as we transform the company and balance efficiencies with the right investments for growth.”

In another development, ADNOC has made an agreement with its partners Exxon Mobil and Inpex to boost production capacity from the Upper Zakum oil field in offshore Abu Dhabi to 1 million barrels per day by 2024.

Image: Signing of the Bab EPC contract award. Photo: courtesy of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.