United Arab Emirates - Country Commercial Guide
Oil and Gas

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-07-26


There are many opportunities for U.S. exporters in the oil and gas sector in the UAE.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is among the world’s ten largest oil producers. About 96% of the country’s roughly 100 billion barrels of proven oil reserves are located in Abu Dhabi, ranking number six worldwide. The UAE produces an average of 3.2 million barrels of petroleum and liquids per day.

Hydrocarbons continue to play a critical role in the UAE economy, with 30% of the UAE’s GDP directly based on oil and gas industry and 13% of its exports. The UAE continues to rely heavily on profits from oil and gas exports, which provide the great majority of UAE government revenue. The UAE has made the energy transition a priority and the UAE was the first Arab state to set a “net-zero” emissions target.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is a global leader in the oil and gas industry active in all sectors of the industry. ADNOC expects to reach 5 million barrels of maximum sustainable production capacity by 2030. ADNOC regularly engages new suppliers from the United States. To bid on ADNOC opportunities, suppliers should register with ADNOC as a supplier – please contact our commercial team at Office.AbuDhabi@Trade.gov for additional information.

The UAE seeks to develop unconventional oil and gas production. The U.S. Energy Information Agency cites figures estimating the UAE holds the seventh-largest proven reserves of natural gas in the world at over 215 trillion cubic feet. In 2020, the UAE announced the discovery of over 80 trillion cubic feet of gas resources at Jebel Ali. The country is seeking to become self-sufficient in gas supply by 2030. The UAE currently imports natural gas from Qatar through the Dolphin pipeline to supply power plants and desalination plants.

In 2021, Mubadala Investment Company, ADNOC, Abu Dhabi Holdinfg (ADQ), and the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MoEI) announced the Hydrogen Alliance to pursue producing blue and green hydrogen for export.

Leading Sub-Sectors

ADNOC’s strategic development is guided by its 2030 Integrated Strategy, released in 2016. ADNOC operates fourteen subsidiary companies under one common identity, the ADNOC Group. Two of ADNOC’s largest operating companies are ADNOC Onshore and ADNOC Offshore, which account for most of the UAE’s oil and gas production.


ADNOC seeks to enhance the profitability of their upstream assets, while developing the oil resources necessary to meet projected increases in global oil demand. ADNOC plans to further augment its upstream crude production through concession agreements for new exploration and production.

In March of 2022, ADNOC awarded framework agreements worth $658 million to further expand drilling operations and crude oil production capacity. In May of 2022 ADNOC announced three oil discoveries including one at Bu Hasa, Abu Dhabi’s biggest onshore field, with a crude oil production capacity of 650,000 barrels per day (bpd). The discovery in Bu Hasa includes 500 million barrels of oil from an exploration well in the field, which offers substantial additional premium-grade Murban oil resources. A discovery of nearly 100 million barrels of oil was announced in Abu Dhabi’s Onshore Block 3, operated by Occidental. In a third discovery, around 50 million barrels of light and sweet Murban-quality crude were found in the Al Dhafra Petroleum Concession.


The expansion of ADNOC’s downstream activities are central to their 2030 Integrated Strategy.ADNOC has embarked on an ongoing $45 billion effort to upgrade its downstream operations, leveraging existing assets and new downstream investments to strengthen their market share.


The UAE’s exploration projects will create opportunities with greenfield projects. UAE producers continue to test and implement new extraction technologies to raise the rates of recovery and prolong output. Unconventional oil and gas resources are of great interest to the UAE.

The Ruwais Derivatives Park (TA’ZIZ Industrial Chemicals Zone) in Abu Dhabi Emirate is a major project that will be an industrial hub for the chemical derivatives sector. The Park is located within ADNOC’s long-established refining and petrochemicals cluster in Ruwais and is expected to become the world’s largest integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex. The cost of Phase I alone is estimated at over $5 billion. ADNOC is inviting U.S. and international companies to participate in the development of the Ruwais Derivatives Park. Opportunities will also be available across the supply chain and in a wide variety of sectors in Phase 2 (2027-2028).

In May of 2022 TA’ZIZ and India’s Reliance Industries signed an agreement for a $2 billion joint venture chemicals production facility (ADNOC Media). TA’ZIZ and Fertiglobe, a Dutch company, entered into a JV to build a blue ammonia plant with a capacity of up to 1 million tons per year at Ruwais. The project includes the construction of an ammonia production plant, processing units, storage facilities, distribution units, installation of compressors, and construction of associated facilities (TA’ZIZ media center, June 2021).

ADNOC seeks to build a new 600,000 barrels per day refinery to increase the Ruwais complex’s feedstock capacity and augment its refined products output beyond its current maximum capacity of 817,000 barrels per day.

ADNOC plans to construct a new liquefied natural gas plant in Fujairah that would more than double its export capacity, with production of as much as 9.6 million tons a year (Bloomberg, May 2022).

The newly formed UAE Hydrogen Alliance between ADNOC, ADQ, and Mubadala will offer opportunities to include potential partnerships, production, storage, transportation, security, and other technologies.


Please see our full UAE Oil and Gas industry report online.

Trade Shows and Exhibitions

ADIPEC – Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference 

October 31 - November 3, 2022

Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC), Abu Dhabi, UAE