Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and US-based Occidental Petroleum plan to expand their joint sour gas production operation in the emirate by 50 per cent.

Al-Hosn Gas, a joint venture between the two companies, started production at the Shah onshore gas field in Abu Dhabi in 2015, after completing a $10bn project. The operation currently has the capacity to process 1 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d) of sour gas.

Adnoc said the expansion could become operational within the next five years in line with its new five-year business plan.

“A key element of our 2030 strategy is to ensure we produce sufficient gas to meet our steadily increasing requirement for gas, and match rising demand from our international customers. Sour gas will play an important role in ensuring we deliver on those commitments,” said Sultan al-Jaber, UAE minister of state and Adnoc CEO.

“For the first time, Adnoc has an integrated gas masterplan that links every part of our gas value chain,” he added.

Out of the 1 billion cf/d of sour gas, Al-Hosn Gas produces 500 million cf/d of network gas, 4,400 tonnes a day (t/d) of natural gas liquids (NGLs), 33,000 cf/d of petroleum condensates and about 9,000 t/d of pure granulated sulphur.

Adnoc has plans to support the development of a local sulphur products industry, including enhancing the existing ammonia and urea industry, with a new generation of advanced fertilisers, the company said.

Adnoc holds a 60 per cent stake in Al-Hosn Gas, with Occidental owning the remaining 40 per cent.

In January this year, UK/Dutch Shell pulled out of a deal to develop a similar sour gas project at the Bab field. Plans to develop sour gas reservoirs at the offshore Hail and Ghasha fields also remain at an early stage.

Over the past decade, the UAE’s production of associated gas has not been enough to meet growing gas demand. The government has developed sour gas fields, increased pipeline gas imports from Qatar and started liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports to meet consumption requirements.