Haliba oil field of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). [Photo provided by Korea National Oil Corp.]
A Korean consortium of state-run Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) and GS Energy together with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have begun commercial production from the onshore oil field they have developed in Haliba across the south-east border of Abu Dhabi.
A ceremony to commemorate Korea’s first oil production from the oil field took place on Tuesday with the attendance of KNOC president Yang Soo-young, GS Energy president Huh Yong-soo and the emirate’s state minister and Adnoc CEO Sultan Al Jaber.
The oil field run by joint venture entity Al Dhafra Petroleum is 40 percent owned by the Korean consortium (30 percent by KNOC and 10 percent by GS Energy) and the remaining 60 percent by Adnoc. In March 2012, the Korean consortium signed an agreement with Adnoc to explore the block. Al Dhafra plans to drive up output capacity to 4 million barrels per day by the end of this year and explore additional oil fields in the block.
The Korean companies have secured annual production of nearly 6 million barrels (based on 40,000 barrels per day) in the local oil field, and they can freely dispose of the produced oil, including shipping it to Korea. They plan to gradually increase the production volume to 60,000 barrels per day by 2023.
[Photo provided by Korea National Oil Corp.]
At the time of its discovery, the original oil in place (OOIP) was estimated to reach 180 million barrels, with 20 percent to 30 percent of the deposits available for extraction. But continued exploration and evaluation work led to 1.1 billion barrels in the OOIP.
The production of crude oil is quite significant in energy security, KNOC said, as the oil is transported to a deposit terminal outside the Strait of Hormuz, meaning it can be shipped to Korea even when waterway to one of the world`s most important shipping channels is shut off.
It also represents a good case of synergy from strategic cooperation and technology exchanges between the KNOC and GS Energy. The Korean government has supported the project with an investment of 103.3 billion won ($88.1 million) in total since 2015.
By Lim Sung-hyun and Minu Kim
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