Abu Dhabi is planning to invest $25bn over the next five years to increase oil production from its offshore fields.

The investment is part of the UAE’s strategy to increase its crude oil output potential from its current production of 2.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to 3.5 million bpd by 2017-18, Reuters reported.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) offshore division manager Qasem al-Kayoumi said: "We want to build capacity from production and from number of wells and infrastructure.

"Our current plan as Adnoc is to reach 3.5 million bpd and to sustain it."

"Our current plan as Adnoc is to reach 3.5 million bpd and to sustain it."

Adnoc intends to invest $2.5bn a year in offshore drilling activities and drill around 160 wells annually.

"It is a considerable increase – the number of rigs has built up considerably in offshore, it could be more than a 50% increase," Kayoumi added.

Current production for the ADMA-OPCO and ZADCO oil fields is 1.2 million bpd, and in 2017-18 it would increase to around 1.6 million bpd.

Abu Dhabi has vast offshore fields under development, including Upper Zakum, where US-based ExxonMobil has a stake.

According to Adnoc, production capacity at Upper Zakum will be increased to 750,000bpd by 2017-18, and to one million bpd by 2024.