Inside Abu Dhabi’s $30 billion Upper Zakum megaproject

The Upper Zakum Oil Field is the largest producing field in ADNOC’s portfolio. It is also the second-largest offshore oil field and the fourth-largest oil field in the world.
As part of ADNOC’s ambitious target to accelerate the delivery of its 2030 smart growth strategy, the company plans to increase the field capacity of Upper Zakum to 1 million barrels per day (mbpd) by 2024 through a mega-expansion project valued at $29.9 billion (AED 110 billion). This will amplify the UAE’s output as it aims to achieve a 5 million barrels per day production capacity by 2027, up from the existing 4 million bpd.ADNOC is currently eyeing contractors to award a sizable contract for the megaproject.

Artificial Islands support sustainability

The mega-project included the construction of four artificial islands in shallow water, which can accommodate 450 wells, 90 platforms, as well as drilling rigs, processing facilities, and infrastructure.Driven by innovation and the need to reduce environmental footprint, ADNOC pioneered and perfected the use of artificial islands to protect the marine environment during project expansion. Artificial islands use lower-cost land-drilling rigs instead of high-cost offshore jack-up drilling rigs, optimizing costs significantly, increasing operational efficiency, and minimizing environmental impact.

Technology that makes a difference

The UZ750 mega-project has used advanced technology to maximise production, according to ADNOC. In 2019, the longest well ever drilled in the Middle East was completed, with a depth of over 40,000 feet.Digitisation improves efficiency and integrated technology roadmaps (both subsurface and surface) enhance the safety of the personnel while reducing operational costs.


Sarsan Oilfields Supply Centre