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Italian Economic Diplomacy 07 January: breaking news from around the world


After the recent awarding of the exploration rights for Exploration Block 3, located offshore to the north-west of Abu Dhabi, ENI group announced the start of gas production (in partnership with SNOC – Sharjah National Oil Corporation) at the Mahani field in one of the three onshore exploration areas (Area B) in the Emirate of Sharjah.

The announcement comes within only one year of the discovery of gas in the Mahani field, labelled as the first new onshore discovery in Sharjah for 37 years.

Despite Covid-19-related challenges, which included the difficulty of importing raw materials during lockdown and the hostile desert conditions during the summer, the well was completed in a record eight months, thanks to the well-planned project activities of ENI, the only foreign partner company for exploration of the Emirate of Sharjah, and the well-established Sharjah infrastructure (SNOC).

Despite the great potential, the Emirates have been net gas importers over the last decade; in this context, the strategic objective of the UAE is self-sufficiency by 2030, to achieve which a key role will be played by the development and exploitation of the large offshore acid gas fields of Ghasha, Hail, Dalma, Nasr, Sarb and Mubarraz, which have been partly outsourced to ENI under 40-year contracts, which, therefore, will continue to play a primary role in enhancing the value of the Country’s gas resources.