Sharjah, the third-largest emirate of the Unites Arab Emirates, is set to see positive domestic energy and economic development with its new gas discovery.

The Northern emirate announced a successful new discovery of natural gas and condensate onshore earlier this week, with flow rates of up to 50 million standard cubic feet per day.

“That is considered a significant flow of a new discovery well,” Cyril Widdershoven, global energy markets expert and founder of consultancy Verocy told Zawya.

Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC) and its Italian partner ENI both hold a 50 percent stake in the discovery as part of a concession agreement signed early last year. It is considered the first onshore gas discovery in the emirate in 37 years.

“With the specific qualities of ENI, as major gas giant, the future could be very positive, especially for Sharjah itself. Not only will it be able to transform its own domestic energy supply situation, but it will also increase the attractiveness of the emirate,” Widdershoven said.

“The ENI SNOC gas well discovery is another sign that overall gas reserves of the UAE, but especially in some of the unexplored areas in Sharjah and other Emirates, could be significant,” he added.

The new well, called Mahani-1, was drilled following the acquisition of a recent 3D seismic survey covering the territory, SNOC said in a statement.

“At present, when looking at Abu Dhabi, the field still is to be regarded interesting, but not yet at the same level as the ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company) ones. However, new wells drilled and successful could change this picture,” he said.

“Onshore gas is at same time more interesting as production costs are lower, so it is better in commercial aspects,” he said.

The Mahani-1 was drilled to a total depth of 14,597 feet measured depth, and the well encountered ‘a thick gas-bearing limestone reservoir in the Thamama of Lower Cretaceous age’, according to an ENI statement, adding that the size of the discovery will be further assessed with additional appraisal drilling.

“Until more is known about the total reserves (P1-P3) of the current field discovery, and the productivity of the new wells, some caution should be taken. Still, if the well is producing 50 million CFD, this is significant,” Widdershoven said.

“The quality of the gas liquids also needs to be taken into account, as this could significantly increase overall margins of profitability,” he added.

(Writing by Nada Al Rifai , editing by Seban Scaria)

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