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Sharjah remains on lookout for more gas fields and drastically reduce imports

Emirate was actually able to bring down its gas import bills during recent market turmoil

The entrance to the Mahani gas well site operated by Sharjah National Oil Co.. Along with its Italian partner Eni, the Sharjah entity is scouting around for more finds.

Sharjah: After discovering its biggest gas find in 30 years, Sharjah is continuing explorations for potential other reservoirs, a top official confirmed.

It was in January that SNOC (Sharjah National Oil Company) made history when, along with Italian partner Eni, it discovered the ‘Mahani’ gas well – the first land discovery of natural gas in the emirate since the 1980s.

The project will boost Sharjah’s domestic gas production, with the process of delineating and developing the discovery to “take a few years,” according to Hatem Al Mosa, CEO.

“There’s diversity in [our] energy supply – Sharjah imports gas from more than one party. And we have our own production.”

The head of Sharjah’s largest energy company does not foresee a sharp increase in natural gas imports to the third-most populous emirate in the UAE.

Global energy giants are betting big on natural gas as a cleaner alternative to crude oil amid pressure from governments and environmental groups. Oil firms are also looking to limit their exposure to price volatility brought on by rising geopolitical tensions and a flood of new supply from non-traditional markets such as US, Canada, and Brazil.

Demand dive helped

Amidst all the turmoil in the global energy industry, Sharjah actually managed to save quite a bit as a consequence.

Natural gas prices – linked to crude contracts – also fell during this period, which in turn made imports cheaper for Sharjah. On a net basis, the emirate saved money because of the reduction in oil prices, Mosa said.

The emirate’s economy, however, suffered as a result of the nation-wide response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The city was “hit as hard as everybody else” because the UAE is essentially a net oil country, Mosa added.

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