Optimising Abu Dhabi’s oil fields

23 May 2023
The UAE’s oil and gas sector continues to thrive through precision-engineered oil fields, says Julien Fabreguette, CEO of EPI


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In the past five decades, the world’s energy system has experienced extensive growth. In most developing and developed countries, excellent infrastructure has been installed, attempting to reach the highest levels of sustainable growth.

The UAE, in particular, has been able to achieve this by using a commercially focused goal line, the latest precision-engineering solutions and increasingly efficient methods and technology within local oil fields, ultimately ensuring an uninterrupted supply of oil and gas to support the national economy.

For example, in 2017, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) introduced measures that increased energy efficiencies by 10 per cent by 2020. The energy-efficiency strategy reduced Adnoc’s gas consumption by 156 million cubic feet a day (cf/d), saving a targeted total of $1bn in 2020, according to the company.

This was largely thanks to an innovative transformation strategy implemented by UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, whose commitment to the growth of the energy sector has spearheaded this change.

The initiatives had already cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 3.1 million tonnes compared with 2014 levels, the equivalent of 658,800 car journeys a year. Cuts in emissions continue as additional operational efficiencies are introduced.

The future price of oil is unpredictable and, therefore, uncontrollable. However, the UAE remains focused on making the most of resources and enhancing performance.

Optimising fields

As long as energy use, consumption and performance are optimised across a range of industry-related activities – and systems are upgraded to measure and report data for better energy planning – Abu Dhabi’s oil and gas fields will continue to develop into one of the most efficient energy sectors in the world.

To do this, all machining used in oil fields must incorporate the latest technologies and be kept to the highest standards of maintenance and repair.

The extreme conditions in oil and gas operations require unique materials and specialised machining. Maintaining this type of equipment takes precision-engineering capabilities, especially when repairing the intricate drilling equipment used in oil fields.

Precision rigs

Drilling rigs exist at the heart of oil work. They are used to burrow into the Earth’s subsurface to extract hydrocarbons, primarily crude oil and natural gas. Rigs include complex equipment that can perform a variety of services, including sampling subsurface mineral deposits; testing the physical properties of rocks, soil and groundwater; and tunnelling and drilling.

Drilling rigs comprise primary oil field equipment such as hoisting systems, a derrick or draw works and a driving group. The equipment also includes a circulating system of pumps, return lines, pits and a drill string. Furthermore, oil field equipment encompasses well control components, which can drill with the help of rotary drilling. Within conventional methods, the well is drilled in a vertical line, straight down to the petroleum.

Using fully operational computer-aided design and manufacturing (cad/cam) systems, the latest precision computer numerical control (CNC) machining and top-quality surface treatments ensures safe, efficient, long-term equipment use and production in the oil and gas industry.

Advanced inspection equipment, such as coordinate measuring machine (CMM) equipment, allows for an assurance process that upholds quality and compliance. Other equipment, such as multi-palleted machines, maintains a safe working environment while optimising output.

Systems and machining – including milling and turning of both soft metals like aluminium and hard metals like titanium and stainless steel – support all the demands of the products that make up the oil rig structure.

With precision-manufactured fields that have produced oil for more than 40 years and significant concessions with international oil firms engaged, the offshore sector in Abu Dhabi will continue to draw on decades of experience as it works to optimise its energy sector.

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