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Germany's Wintershall takes 10% stake in Abu Dhabi's Ghasha gas project

The Adnoc development is expected to produce 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day

Germany's Wintershall has taken a 10% stake in Adnoc's Ghasha gas project in Abu Dhabi [supplied image].
Germany's Wintershall has taken a 10% stake in Adnoc's Ghasha gas project in Abu Dhabi [supplied image].

The Abu Dhabi Government and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) have added Wintershall Holding to the Ghasha ultra-sour gas megaproject with a 10% stake. The Ghasha concession consists of the Hail, Ghasha, Dalma and other offshore sour gas fields, including Nasr, Sarb, and Mubarraz. Wintershall will contribute 10% of the project capital and operational development expenses as part of its deal.

Wintershall, Germany’s largest crude oil and natural gas producer – and a wholly owned subsidiary of BASF, the world’s largest chemicals company by sales – joins Italy’s Eni as partners with Adnoc in the project. 

Eni was awarded a 25% stake in the Ghasha concession earlier this month. The latest agreement marks the first time a German oil and gas company has been awarded a stake in an Abu Dhabi concession area, and underscores Adnoc’s objective to expand and diversify its strategic partnership base.

READ: Abu Dhabi's Adnoc completes tech-driven Taweelah gas plant

The concession agreement, which has a term of 40 years, was signed by HE Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Adnoc Group chief executive officer (CEO), and Mario Mehren, CEO of Wintershall. 

Commenting on the agreement, Al Jaber said: “Development of the Ghasha concession area is a strategic priority for Adnoc. The gas, extracted from the concession area at commercial rates, will make a significant contribution to fulfilling our commitment to ensuring a sustainable and economic gas supply and achieving our objective of gas self-sufficiency for the UAE.

“In common with Adnoc, Wintershall has extensive experience of appraising and developing ultra-sour gas resources in technically complex fields. It is a partnership in which each company will benefit from the experience of the other as, together, we optimise costs and ensure we extract the maximum value from all the available gas resources. It builds on our long experience of sour gas production and strengthens our ambition to establish a centre of excellence, in Abu Dhabi, for sour gas development.”

The Ghasha ultra-sour concession will tap into the Arab basin, which is estimated to hold multiple trillions of standard cubic feet of recoverable gas. The project is expected to produce more than 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day when it comes on stream around the middle of the next decade – enough to provide electricity to more than two million homes. Once complete, the project will also produce more than 120,000 barrels of oil and high-value condensates per day.

READ: Arabtec unit wins $142m Adnoc contract from Spain's Tecnicas Reunidas

Mehren said: “We have been working since 2010 on strengthening the Middle East region by investing here and developing it into another growth region for Wintershall. We [have] achieved that goal today by signing the contract.

“Natural gas production in Abu Dhabi complements our existing portfolio in an ideal way. We have decades of experience to offer in safely developing sour gas fields. We will contribute our technical know-how, strength in implementing projects and cost-effectiveness, in Abu Dhabi, in the coming decades.

“Wintershall is particularly qualified for the offshore operations in the Ghasha concession. We are experts in drilling technically demanding wells and developing fields efficiently, and we know precisely what counts in ecologically sensitive areas,” Mehren added. 

READ: Adnoc Onshore awards $70m contract to London-based Penspen

In addition to developing the Ghasha concession area, Adnoc plans to increase production from its Shah field to 1.5 billion cubic feet per day and move forward to develop the sour gas fields at Bab and Bu Hasa. 

Adnoc will also unlock other sources of gas in the future, which include Abu Dhabi’s giant Umm Shaif gas cap and the emirate’s unconventional gas reserves, as well as new natural gas accumulations, which will continue to be appraised and developed as the company pursues its exploration activities.

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