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Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) has signed an agreement to offer a 25% stake in its Ghasha ultra-sour gas offshore concession to Italian company Eni.

With a 40-year term, the Ghasha concession comprises the Hail, Ghasha, Dalma and other offshore fields.

Under the terms of the deal, Eni will fund 25% of the development costs for the ultra-sour gas project.

The agreement comes after the Supreme Petroleum Council approved Adnoc’s new integrated gas strategy, which aims to evolve the UAE into a net gas exporter.

“Eni’s field development experience supports the accelerated delivery of gas from the Hail, Ghasha and Dalma fields.”

Adnoc Group CEO Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: “Development of our Hail, Ghasha and Dalma ultra-sour gas offshore resources, at commercial rates, will make a significant contribution towards delivering that strategic imperative and bringing forward the day when the UAE will not only be self-sufficient in gas but also transitions to net exporter of gas.

“In combination with ADNOC’s leading experience in ultra-sour gas, Eni’s field development experience supports the accelerated delivery of gas from the Hail, Ghasha and Dalma fields.

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“At the same time, it will enable the further optimisation of costs and ensure we extract the maximum value from our gas resources, as we continue to partner with those who share our values and contribute to our growth strategy.”

The company is in talks with other companies to award them the remaining 15% stake of a 40% interest allocated to foreign companies in the Ghasha concession. Adnoc will retain the majority 60% interest.

Once production begins around 2025, the Hail, Ghasha and Dalma ultra-sour gas project is expected to produce more than 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas a day and exceed 120,000 barrels of oil and high-value condensate a day.

Gas produced from the project is estimated to be enough to deliver electricity to more than two million homes.

Using smart technologies, Adnoc intends to operate all the project’s remote facilities from a control centre in Al Manayif.