The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has awarded a AED5bn ($1.36bn) worth dredging, land reclamation and marine construction contract related to the first phase development of the Ghasha Concession to the UAE’s National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC).

Ghasha Concession-contract

Image: NMDC wins contract to build artificial islands on Ghasha Concession. Photo: courtesy of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.

Under its contract, NMDC will build 10 new artificial islands and two causeways for the Ghasha Concession. It will also be responsible for the expansion of an existing island, called Al Ghaf.

NMDC’s work is expected to be completed in 38 months and will provide the infrastructure needed for the further development, drilling and production of gas from the sour gas fields in the Ghasha Concession.

According to ADNOC, artificial islands offer considerable cost and environmental benefits, especially in shallow water, by facilitating the use of lower-cost land-drilling rigs rather than high-cost offshore jack-up drilling rigs.

NMDC chairman Mohammed Thani Murshed Al Rumaithi said: “We are proud of our partnership with ADNOC and to be awarded this exciting new mega-project. We are also very pleased at the contribution this project will make to the local UAE economy, to supporting ADNOC’s gas developments, and to progressing the UAE’s strategy to develop the maritime sector, in order to compete globally.”

At peak construction, the project is likely to employ more than 3,500 people, said ADNOC.

ADNOC Group CEO Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: “NMDC was selected after a rigorous and competitive tender process. The award of this project to a UAE company will generate substantial In-Country Value, supporting local economic growth.

“In addition, it demonstrates the rapid progress ADNOC is making to leverage and create value from Abu Dhabi’s substantial, untapped, hydrocarbon resources.”

The Ghasha Concession is made up of the Hail, Ghasha, Dalma, Nasr and Mubarraz sour gas fields, which are located offshore Abu Dhabi.

The offshore fields are planned to be developed through a multi-billion US dollar investment under the Ghasha ultra sour gas project. The offshore gas project is being taken up to exploit the Arab basin, which is estimated to hold multiple trillions of standard cubic feet of recoverable gas.

Recently, ADNOC awarded stakes in the Ghasha Concession to Eni (25%), Wintershall (10%) and OMV (5%).

The Ghasha ultra sour gas project is estimated to produce more than 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day upon its commissioning, which is expected to be around 2025.