UAE: Total keen on UAE Bab gas field development
31 Oct 2010
French oil major Total plans to bid for the development of the United Arab Emirates' Bab gas field, a senior company executive said on Sunday. The UAE holds the world's seventh-largest gas reserves, at around 227.1 trillion cubic feet, according to BP statistics. Much of the UAE's gas is sour.
In 2007, the world's third-largest oil exporter launched a tender to develop the Shah and Bab fields. In May 2007, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) decided to split the project and develop it in two parts after receiving a mixed response from bidders. The project failed to attract enough interest from international oil companies to develop the venture as a whole.
'We are interested in the Bab field and not Shah because our technology is more suited for Bab,' said Jean-Luc Guiziou, Total's vice president of exploration and production for the Middle East. 'But the government has chosen to focus on Shah first,' Guiziou told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event in Abu Dhabi. Guiziou did not say when the field would be auctioned.
The UAE is short of gas and is moving ahead with the $10 billion Shah field development despite the withdrawal of its partner for the project, ConocoPhillips, in late April. Industry sources said in June the UAE wants Royal Dutch Shell to step in as its partner at Shah.
The gas in the Bab field is dryer than the gas at Shah, Guiziou added. The gas at Shah contains around 30 percent deadly hydrogen sulphide, making it tougher to produce than conventional gas reserves.