UAE announces major new oil, gas discoveries

ADNOC CEO Sultan Al-Jaber, right, said, ‘we are very pleased and honored to have enabled the UAE to move from the seventh to the sixth-largest oil and gas reserves in both global rankings.’ (Reuters)
Updated 04 November 2019

UAE announces major new oil, gas discoveries

  • The UAE’s Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) said the new discoveries included seven billion barrels of crude oil and 58 trillion cubic feet of natural gas
  • That raised UAE crude oil reserves to 105 billion barrels, overtaking neighbor Kuwait for the world’s sixth largest oil deposits

ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates, a leading OPEC producer, on Monday announced “significant” oil and gas discoveries and launched a new pricing mechanism for Abu Dhabi flagship Murban crude.

The Gulf state’s highest energy decision-making body, the Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC), said the new discoveries included seven billion barrels of crude oil and 58 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

That raised UAE crude oil reserves to 105 billion barrels, overtaking neighbor Kuwait for the world’s sixth largest oil deposits, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) said in a statement.

Natural gas reserves were also boosted to 273 trillion cubic feet (7.7 billion cubic meters), ADNOC said. In addition, the UAE discovered about 160 trillion cubic feet of unconventional natural gas.

UAE pumps about three million barrels of oil per day (bpd) and produces some 10.5 billion cubic feet of raw natural gas, according to ADNOC.

“We are very pleased and honored to have enabled the UAE to move from the seventh to the sixth-largest oil and gas reserves in both global rankings,” said ADNOC CEO Sultan Al-Jaber.

The SPC also gave its approval to list ADNOC’s Murban crude oil on an internationally recognized exchange, with the goal of boosting the UAE’s position as an energy provider, particularly to fast-growing Asian markets.

“The initiative will enable our customers and other market participants to better price, manage and trade their purchases of Murban,” which pumps some 1.7 million bpd, Jaber said.

Last year, ADNOC granted concession rights in existing and new oilfields and earmarked some $132 billion to invest in the oil sector over the next five years.

ADNOC plans to boost crude output capacity to four million bpd in 2020 and to five million bpd a decade later.


Higher impairment charges hit UAE banks Emirates NBD and ADCB

Updated 32 min 4 sec ago

Higher impairment charges hit UAE banks Emirates NBD and ADCB

DUBAI: Dubai's biggest lender Emirates NBD reported a 15 percent drop in fourth-quarter earnings on Monday, below analysts' forecasts, on a jump in impairment charges, sending its shares down around 1 percent.

The bank booked impairment charges of 2.06 billion dirhams ($560.88 million) in the quarter, up more than three times from a year earlier due to higher bad debt charges as it consolidated results of newly acquired Turkish lender DenizBank.

Even without DenizBank, impairment charges were up 78 percent on lower writebacks and recoveries. The bank did not give details of these charges.

Banks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are bracing for more writedowns from the real sector amid a downturn, especially in the Dubai property market.

Fitch Ratings recently warned a weakening property market in the UAE was likely to put more pressure on the asset quality of the banking sector.

Emirates NBD reported a net profit of 2.02 billion dirhams in the fourth-quarter, down from 2.39 billion dirhams in the same period a year earlier. EFG Securities had projected a net profit of 2.45 billion dirhams.

Full year profit, however, surged 44 percent, underpinned by double-digit growth in net interest income, stronger loan growth and gains from the listing of the bank's unit Network International.

Separately, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, the UAE's third-biggest bank, also reported a 16 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit on Monday, hurt by an increase in impairment charges.

Emirates NBD said it expected the Expo 2020 world fair to support multiple sectors in Dubai, but a softening real estate market remained a risk for 2020.