ABU DHABI - The United Arab Emirates, a leading OPEC producer, announced Monday the discovery of huge gas reserves, saying the find would help the Gulf state achieve self-sufficiency.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) said about 80 trillion cubic feet (2.2 trillion cubic feet) of shallow gas resources were discovered between the emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the largest of the seven-member UAE.
"This new discovery reinforces the nation's goal of achieving gas self-sufficiency, enabling major development projects," it said in a statement.
Leaders of Abu Dhabi and Dubai witnessed the signing of an agreement between ADNOC and Dubai Supply Authority for the exploration and development of the gas resources.
In November, Abu Dhabi announced new discoveries of seven billion barrels of oil to raise the UAE's total crude reserves to 105 billion barrels, the world's sixth largest.
It also announced the discovery of 58 trillion cubic feet of conventional gas, boosting total reserves to 273 trillion cubic feet as well as 160 trillion cubic feet of unconventional gas.
Most of these reserves are located in Abu Dhabi.
Monday's statements gave no details on the timeframe for the new gas resources to become onstream or the estimated cost of the projects.
Shallow gas resources are reserves found trapped not too deep from the surface but they need advanced technology for production.
The produced gas will be supplied to Dubai which currently imports most of its gas needs from neighbouring Qatar which is under embargo by a Saudi-led coalition that includes the UAE.
The agreement "reinforces ADNOC's commitment to ensuring a sustainable and economic gas supply and achieving gas self-sufficiency", said the firm's CEO, Sultan al-Jaber.
Throughout 2018, ADNOC granted concession rights in existing and new oilfields to several international companies, and earmarked some $132 billion to invest in the oil sector over the next five years.
ADNOC plans to boost gas production for UAE to become a net exporter and also to raise crude output capacity to four million bpd in 2020 and to five million bpd a decade later.