Water management

ADNOC, TAQA Plan $2.4 Billion Megaproject To Pipe Seawater to Onshore Fields

Sustaining two of the UAE’s biggest onshore fields will require hundreds of kilometers of new pipelines that are to be powered using 100% renewable energy.

A production facility at ADNOC's Bu Hasa field outside of Abu Dhabi.
Source: ADNOC.

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) have announced a major project requiring an investment of up to $2.4 billion to build a sustainable water supply for ADNOC's onshore operations.

The infrastructure initiative includes the construction of a centralized seawater treatment facility and transportation network for the Bab and Bu Hasa fields in Abu Dhabi which combine to produce more than 1 million B/D.

The Bu Hasa field is ADNOC’s largest onshore asset with a production capacity of 650,000 B/D. In 2021, ADNOC said it would spend more than $300 million on a multiyear project to install remotely controlled production systems in up to 260 conventional and unconventional wells in the Bu Hasa field.

The Bab field has a capacity of over 450,000 B/D and is in the midst of a major enhanced oil recovery project that aims to increase production capacity to 485,000 B/D.

The major capital program planned for both fields is seen as part of ADNOC’s wider strategy to boost the UAE’s production from 4 million to 5 million B/D by 2030.

By replacing the current high-salinity, deep aquifer water systems, the joint project aims to reduce water injection-related energy consumption by up to 30%. ADNOC and TAQA said in their announcement that the project will also use 100% renewable energy from the UAE’s grid.

Once completed, the project will supply more than 110 million gal/D of treated seawater through more than 300 km of transportation and distribution pipelines. The Abu Dhabi-based firms highlighted that over 60% of the project's value during development and operation phases will be reinvested in the UAE's domestic economy.

ADNOC and TAQA will hold a joint 51% stake (25.5% each) in the project with the remaining share held by a consortium using a build, own, operate, and transfer scheme. After 30 years of operation, the project will be returned to ADNOC.

The two state-owned energy companies previously partnered in 2021 to form a joint venture that is seeking to produce 30 GW of renewable energy in the UAE by 2030. The project also aims to produce and store green hydrogen.

In 2022, ADNOC and TAQA announced separate plans to spend $3.8 billion to power and decarbonize ADNOC’s offshore production operations.