Skip to main content

ADNOC signs US$1.7bn contract for unconventional energy development (UAE)

The United Arab Emirates' energy group ADNOC has been awarded a US$1.7bn contract to provide drilling and associated services to unlock the country’s unconventional oil and gas resources. 

ADNOC Drilling has incorporated a new company, Turnwell Industries, to service the contract, and explore the considerable future opportunities in unconventional resources, with Turnwell expected to deliver 144 unconventional oil and gas wells. The initial phase of unconventionals development is expected to employ up to nine land rigs, of which five are already included in ADNOC Drilling’s fleet as of 31 December 2023. In addition, ADNOC Drilling has also signed a term sheet to enter a strategic partnership with Schlumberger Middle East and Patterson-UTI International Holdings subject to signing definitive agreements and any necessary regulatory approvals. The new company will be primarily engaged in unconventional drilling operations.

Unconventional energy refers to oil and gas resources trapped in subsurface reservoirs requiring additional technology and processes to unlock them. At the end of 2022, the UAE had proven oil reserves estimated at 15 Gt or 110 Gbl, with 96% of which located in Abu Dhabi, and 8.2 tcm. Abu Dhabi estimates its unconventional resources at 220 Gbl of unconventional oil and 460 tcf (13 tcm) of unconventional gas.