ABU DHABI, UAE – ADNOC has awarded the UAE’s National Marine Dredging Co. (NMDC) a $1.36-billion contract for the first-phase development of offshore sour gas/condensate from the Ghasha concession.
The scope includes dredging, land reclamation, and marine construction.
NMDC will construct 10 new artificial islands and two causeways and expand an existing island, Al Ghaf, over a 38-month period, providing the infrastructure needed to develop, drill, and produce gas from the offshore Hail, Ghasha, Dalma, Nasr and Mubarraz fields.
At peak the project should employ more than 3,500 people.
According to ADNOC, artificial islands provide cost and environmental benefits in shallow water as they allow use of land rigs instead of higher-cost offshore jackup drilling rigs.
In addition, the islands are said to provide greater flexibility for extended-reach drilling. In this case, they will dispense with the need to dredge more than 100 locations for wells and provide additional habitats for marine life.
ADNOC’s track record in this field includes the four artificial islands built for the Upper Zakum expansion project. Upper Zakum is the world’s second-largest offshore oil field.
Recently the company awarded stakes in the Ghasha concession toEni, Wintershall, and OMV. The development, due to come onstream in the mid-2020s, should deliver over 1.5 bcf/d and more than 120,000 b/d of oil and condensates.