Sharjah's SNOC, Italy's Eni discover first onshore gas field in 37 years

Published: 28 January 2020 - 8:15 a.m.

Rome-headquartered oil and gas giant Eni and the Sharjah National Oil Company (SNOC) have announced a natural gas and condensate discovery at the Mahani exploration prospect, which is located onshore in the Concession Area B of the emirate – an area awarded to the Italian firm in the first International Competitive Emploration Licensing Round conducted by the Petroleum Council of Sharjah.

The discovery at Mahani-1, which was drilled to a measured depth of 4.5km, marks the first onshore discovery of gas in the emirate since the 1980s.

The well encountered a thick gas-bearing limestone reservoir in the Thamama of lower cretaceous age, and was tested with flow rates up to 50 million cubic feet per day (Mscf/d) of lean gas and associated condensate, Eni said in a statement.

The Italian oil and gas giant holds a 50% stake in the Concession Area B, while SNOC – acting as the operator – holds the remaining 50% stake on the area.

The joint venture between the entities has already begun studies to fast track the exploitation of the discovered resources, leveraging the existing facilities and infrastructures, while finalising the evaluation of the discovery.

The size of the discovery will be assessed with additional appraisal drilling. The new phase of exploration in the area, which has already been explored in the past, will require accurate and sophisticated seismic imaging.

Eni’s current exploration acreage in the UAE alone amounts to more than 12,000m2 of gross area, comprising the onshore of Sharjah and offshore areas of Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah. Eni has been present in Abu Dhabi since 2018 and today holds three offshore development and production concessions and two offshore exploration concessions.

The Italian firm’s current equity production in Abu Dhabi is approximately 50,000 bbl/day. Eni is also a shareholder with a 20% equity interest in ADNOC Refining.

Eni’s presence in the Middle East also extends to Bahrain, Oman, Lebanon, and Iraq with exploration and development activities.

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