The Ghasha mega-project is the world’s largest offshore sour gas development. The multi-billion-dollar project will play a vital role in meeting the UAE’s gas self-sufficiency objective, in line with ADNOC’s integrated gas strategy. Approved by the Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC), the integrated gas strategy aims to unlock and maximize value from Abu Dhabi’s substantial natural gas reserves.
The mega-project is estimated to hold significant recoverable gas reserves. When it comes onstream, the Ghasha mega-project is expected to produce more than 1.5 billion standard cubic feet (bscfd) of natural gas per day. With this production, it will be instrumental in providing electricity to more than two million homes in the UAE by around the middle of the decade.
Fueling Strategic Partnerships
The Ghasha mega-project draws on ADNOC’s long-standing sour gas expertise, including its Shah onshore ultra-sour gas field project, its pioneering work in the creation of artificial islands, and the wide and deep sour gas capabilities of its concession partners. It will further strengthen the UAE as a leading global hub for knowledge and experience in ultra-sour gas.
Expanding ADNOC’s leading sour gas experience, the company entered into strategic partnerships with global companies that have proven sour gas capabilities. To date, the concession has attracted significant foreign direct investment from four major partners: Italy’s ENI (25%), Germany’s Wintershall Dea (10%), Austria’s OMV (5%), and Russia’s LUKOIL (5%). With a concession term of 40 years as of November 2018, the project will further optimize costs and ensure that maximum value from gas resources is extracted, in line with ADNOC’s ambitious gas strategy.
At the Forefront of Digitization
The Ghasha mega-project will use smart technology across all operations so that ADNOC’s operators, technicians, and site personnel can remotely access key activities across the project. Not only does the digital approach optimize work procedures and strengthen data integration, but it also improves real-time decision-making from sub-surface to drill centers and ground facilities.
Ghasha is a perfect demonstration of how ADNOC has incorporated smart technology across the board. Here are some highlights:
- The project’s remote facilities will be operated from a central control center in Al Manayif so that technical personnel can respond promptly whenever interventions are required. It will be one of the largest automation control systems in the Middle East, controlling all offshore and onshore operations. It is projected to handle information from more than 100,000 inputs and outputs that cover both analogs and digital.
- The project is the first oil and gas project in the world that will be a 100% unmanned operation for offshore facilities. It will use high-tech sensors, drones, rail cameras, and inspection robots. All robots, drones, and other moving vessels will be micro-chipped and monitored from the central control room located onshore.
- The project will use artificial intelligence such as predictive maintenance for all critical rotating equipment. It will also see the deployment and maximization of the Digital Twin technology to enhance onshore and offshore operation efficiency. The Digital Twin is a digital representation of the assets and process facilities, which will add value to production planning, production efficiency, performance, and personnel. It will capture, aggregate, analyze operational data, improve production system efficiency, as well as monitor and report assets performance.
- The project ensures that the safety of all offshore personnel is a top priority. In addition to the digital handheld devices for data access, reporting, digitized Permit to Work (PTW), the vital signs and location of personnel are monitored in real-time from the control room so that they are safe from harm at all times especially when they are working in remote areas or hazardous conditions.
For the first time in the oil and gas industry, an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) approach was implemented from the concept phase to the execution phase. ADNOC ensured that its stakeholders were involved from the very beginning so that they could cumulatively improve the project efficiency in terms of scope quality, schedule, and cost.
In addition to ADNOC and its Ghasha concession partners, stakeholders included various governmental organizations, FEED bidders, EPC contractors and sub-contractors, drilling operators/service providers, and environmental agencies. Representatives from each stakeholder participated in key meetings and workshops from the onset of the project jointly reviewed the project scope, shared lessons learned, and identified opportunities to improve processes.