SNOC and Eni have started gas production from the Mahani field within a year of making the onshore discovery in Sharjah

Government-owned Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC) and its partner, Italian energy major Eni, have announced the start-up of the Mahani-1 gas well, marking the commencement of gas production from the Mahani gas field, located in concession area B in the emirate of Sharjah.

The announcement comes within one year of the discovery of gas in the field, the first such onshore hydrocarbons discovery made in Sharjah in 37 years.

“Despite Covid-19-related challenges, which included the difficulty of importing raw materials during lockdown, and the laying of a 23,000-metre pipeline in hostile desert conditions during the summer, the well was completed in a record eight months,” SNOC said on 4 January.

The well is now connected to the existing pipeline, ready to produce gas and liquids for processing at the Sajaa gas processing plant, owned and operated by SNOC.

“The well-established Sharjah infrastructure, the abundant capacity of the Sajaa gas processing complex, the available efficient pipeline network, the well-planned project activities and its project management capabilities have all enabled SNOC to make such an achievement in record time,” the company said.

Sharjah gas discovery

SNOC and Eni announced the discovery of the Mahani exploration well in January last year, within the first year of their partnership.

At the time, the partners said the Mahani-1 well was drilled to a total measured depth of 14,597ft and had tested gas at flow rates of up to 50 million standard cubic feet a day, together with associated condensate from the Thamama Formation.

In May last year, SNOC awarded UK/UAE-based oil and gas contractor Lamprell an engineering, procurement, installation and commissioning (EPIC) contract for the Mahani extended well test project.

Lamprell, at the time, said its scope of work included hook-up and installation at the well, existing systems upgrade, associated tie-ins and building a new 25km export pipeline.

Work on the contract was to be completed in early 2021.

Further exploration

Looking ahead, SNOC said it is working on a long-term field development plan for concession area B, which includes provision of required surface facilities, as well as an extended well testing programme to further evaluate the size and potential of the Mahani field.

In addition to starting production from Mahani, the planned work programme will include further drilling to determine the extent of the structure.

SNOC and Eni each hold a 50% stake in the Mahani field, with SNOC being the operator of area B, as part of the concession agreements that were signed in 2019 following Sharjah’s hydrocarbons upstream licensing round.

Eni won Sharjah’s first upstream licensing round, conducted by SNOC, in January 2019 by taking stakes in the three concession areas offered in the exercise. Eni won 75%, 50% and 75% stakes in areas A, B and C, respectively, with SNOC holding the remaining stakes in those concessions, making Eni the sole foreign firm Sharjah partnered with for its upstream exploration drive.

Eni, as the operator of areas A and C, is “actively progressing with exploration” in those areas, SNOC said.

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