UAE's SNOC Gas Project Startup Delayed

DUBAI (Reuters) — UAE's Sharjah National Oil Company (SNOC) said on Tuesday that the impact of the coronavirus outbreak will delay the startup of production at its Mahani gas exploration project by up to two months. 

SNOC and Italian energy giant Eni announced in January the discovery of Mahani, a new find of natural gas and condensate onshore in Sharjah, and the first in the Emirate since the early 1980s.

"In terms of the Mahani project... we are progressing everything according to plan... nonetheless we are expecting some minor delays in the startup, still our intention is to have production online before the end of the year," SNOC CEO Hatem AlMosa said during a conference call with media.

The delay is expected to be no more than a month or two, he added.

ENI has announced it is reviewing all of its projects in the region due to current global market conditions, but a senior executive said there will be no impact on the Mahan project.

"As far as ENI is concerned there will not be an impact on Mahani projects, Fuad Krekshi, ENI's executive vice president for the Middle East, told the same call with media.

"We have completed all our procurement activities on Mahani and what could go late is of course the execution of the project... As that requires the presence of people and we all know what is happening around the world," Andrea Cozzi, managing director of ENI Sharjah B.V., said.

Separately, SNOC awarded a Moveyeid Gas Storage Surface Facility Project to Petrofac Facilities Management International Limited. 

The project, valued at $40 million, comprises a new high-pressure compressor facility, a high-pressure pipeline and flow lines to four existing wells in Moveyeid Field.

SNOC said it will continue to evaluate the need for expanding the storage and delivery capacity of the project beyond 2023.

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