Concerns that the shift to lower crude prices will affect Abu Dhabi’s oil and gas projects market have yet to be realised as the emirate continues to progress with major developments.

Abu Dhabi’s largest pre-execution project, the estimated $10bn Bab sour gas development, is moving into the next phase with US-based Fluor selected to carry out the front-end engineering and design (feed) study, MEED has revealed.

Regional projects tracker MEED Projects estimated that the UAE has almost $35bn-worth of oil, gas and chemicals projects at the pre-execution stage.

While there have been delays in some awards, there has yet to be any project cancellations since the crude market took a downturn from the middle of 2014.

Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors eyeing Abu Dhabi’s oil and gas sector will welcome the continued progress of the Bab sour gas development, which is on track to be tendered in several large packages in 2016.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, a senior official at the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) announced that the emirate plans to invest $25bn in the offshore sector over the next five years.

This level of investment seems ambitious as few of the upcoming major projects planned in the UAE oil and gas industry appear to be in the offshore sector.

The planned investment could include the next phases of the Upper Zakum oil field development. The first phase of the project to develop early production facilities for the giant offshore field is currently under execution and operator Zakum Development Company(Zadco) has plans to boost production to 1 million barrels a day.

Although the decline of oil prices from $100-plus levels has created a level of uncertainty in Abu Dhabi, there is still plenty of available work for contractors to look forward to in the coming years.

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