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UAE amps up oil and gas output as Iran sanctions hit
[DUBAI] UAE oil company ADNOC has announced the discovery of new oil and gas resources, with an eye on full self-sufficiency as US sanctions on Iran go into effect.
State-run ADNOC, based in the oil-rich capital Abu Dhabi, said Sunday it had discovered new gas fields, totalling 15 trillion standard cubic feet, and another billion barrels of oil.
The company also announced plans to boost output to four million barrels per day by 2020 and five million bpd by 2030 -- a plan UAE officials said was aimed at making the country entirely self-sufficient.
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed also announced the Supreme Petroleum Council, the city's main decision-making council, approved a budget of 486 billion dirhams (S$181.7 billion) to support a five-year growth plan.
This included ADNOC's "gas strategy to become self-sufficient and a net gas exporter," he said on Twitter.
The United Arab Emirates, OPEC's fourth largest producer, currently produces up to 3.5 million bpd.
Sunday's announcement came as the United States imposed strict sanctions against Iran.
The move targets buyers of Iranian oil with the aim of throttling Tehran's main source of income.
The UAE and its main ally, Saudi Arabia, support the new sanctions.
The two countries have also severed ties with Qatar -- the world's largest exporter of liquified natural gas -- in a spat over Doha's policies, primarily on Iran and radical Islamist groups.
But the UAE still relies on Qatar for gas imports via the Dolphin pipeline, which Qatari officials say is still functional.
Saudi Arabia is the only producer with significant spare capacity of around two million bpd that can be tapped into to compensate for the loss of Iranian supplies.
But analysts doubt Riyadh can sustain high production for a prolonged period.