Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) subsidiary National Drilling Company (NDC) has awarded a $218m drilling rig contract to a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

The contract was awarded to Baoji Oilfield Services Company on 23 September after a competitive bid round earlier in the month.

NDC did not say what the rig would be used for, but Adnoc and its subsidiaries plan to increase oil and gas production from existing reservoirs and develop previously untapped oil fields in the emirate.

Adnoc plans to increase the emirate’s total oil production capacity to 3.5 million barrels a day (b/d) from current levels of about 2.7 million b/d. The increase was originally scheduled to be completed by 2010, but industry observers now say it could be as late as 2019 before the target is hit.