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United Arab Emirates Table of Contents

United Arab Emirates


The Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) held a concession for Dubayy from 1937 to 1961. CFP and Compañía Española de Petróleo (Spanish Petroleum Company--Hispanoil) obtained an onshore concession in 1954 and formed Dubai Marine Areas (Duma). Continental Oil Company acquired the IPC concession in 1963 and formed the Dubai Petroleum Company (DPC). That same year, DPC acquired 50 percent of Duma and released some of its shares to other companies. Oil was discovered offshore in 1966, and production commenced in late 1969. The Dubayy government acquired a 60 percent share in DumaDPC in 1975.

Dubayy's oil reserves in 1991 were estimated at 4 billion barrels, which will run out by 2016 if 1990 levels of production continue. Dubayy's production policy has been to ignore OPEC quotas for the most part, concentrating on exploiting the amirate's fields as efficiently as possible. This has meant producing at or near capacity most of the time. The principal fields are Fath, Rashid, and Falah offshore, and Margham onshore. The amirate has two refineries, with a third planned for the mid1990s .

The Dubayy government established the Dubai Natural Gas Company (Dugas) in 1975 to process gas from offshore oil fields. By the early 1990s, the company also planned to process associated gas from the onshore Margham field. Dugas's foreign partner was Scimitar Oils (Dubai), a subsidiary of Canada's Sunningdale Oils. The Dugas processing facilities at Mina Jabal Ali came on-line in 1980 with a capacity of 20,000 bpd of natural gas liquids (propane, butane, and heavier liquids) and 2.1 million cubic meters of dry gas (methane) a day. The dry gas is piped to the Dubai Aluminum Company (Dubal), where it fuels a large electric power and desalination plant. A small part of the natural gas liquids is locally bottled and consumed, but most is exported to Japan. A special gas terminal at Mina Jabal Ali that can handle tankers of up to 48,000 tons opened in 1980. The amirate's gas reserves are estimated at 125 billion cubic meters.

Data as of January 1993