Adnoc, the UAE’s national oil company, is set to expand oil and gas production to 7.5bn barrels of oil,  the Guardian reports..

Its planned expansion represents the fifth largest increase in production in the world, according to analysis produced for the Guardian by German NGO Urgewald, based on data from Rystad Energy.

To meet net zero targets set out by the International Energy Agency (IEA), 90% of this would have to remain in the ground. The United Arab Emirates has the third biggest net zero-breaking plans for oil and gas expansion in the world, surpassed only by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Adnoc is the world’s 11th biggest oil and gas producer, delivering more than one billion barrels of oil equivalent in 2021.

In November 2022, Adnoc announced a $150bn investment over five years to enable an “accelerated growth strategy” for oil and gas production.

Part of the plans include the extension of production in the Upper Zakum field, which Adnoc has previously described as a “mega-project” and the “second-largest offshore oilfield in the world”.

Climate targets “highly insufficient”

The nation is set to host this year’s UN climate summit, COP28. Adnoc CEO Sultan Al Jaber was controversially appointed president of the summit in December despite backlash by campaign groups.

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Independent analysis from The Climate Action Tracker (CAT) rates the UAE’s climate pledges as “highly insufficient”, and that the country’s continued commitment to fossil fuel expansion is incompatible with the 1.5C warming target.

The IEA has said that to reach global net-zero emissions by 2050 and limit global warming to 1.5C, there must not be any new oil and gas projects approved after 2021. Just 10% of Adnoc’s planned expansion is compatible with net-zero targets, with 90% of plans being advanced after this cut-off date.