Country Listing

United Arab Emirates Table of Contents

United Arab Emirates


In 1969 the amir of Sharjah granted a forty-year concession for offshore exploration and production to a consortium of small United States oil companies known as Crescent Oil Company. Oil was discovered in 1973 in the Mubarak field off the island of Abu Musa, and production began in 1974. Because of conflicting territorial claims, Sharjah has production and drilling rights but shares production and revenue with Iran (50 percent), Umm al Qaywayn (20 percent), and Ajman (10 percent). By about 1984, Iran reportedly ceased transferring to Sharjah its half-share of oil revenues, presumably because of the financial drain of the war with Iraq, as well as Arab support of Iraq. In 1988 Iran attacked the facilities at Mubarak, causing their closure for two months.

In 1980 the American Oil Company (Amoco--later Amoco Sharjah) announced a major discovery onshore of oil and gas in the Saghyah field. By late 1983, output reached 35,000 bpd of condensate, which was exported. In 1984 total production reached 62,000 bpd. In the same year, the Emirates General Petroleum Corporation completed a 224-kilometer pipeline to supply dry gas to power plants in the northern amirates. The pipeline had a capacity of 60,000 bpd of condensate and 1.1 million cubic meters per day of gas. After Dubayy and Sharjah settled their border dispute in 1985, a pipeline was built to supply gas from the Saghyah field to the power and desalination plant of the Dubai Electrical Company at Mina Jabal Ali. An LPG processing plant that came online in 1986 was producing 11.3 million cubic meters of wet gas per day in 1987. The amirate's outlook was optimistic in 1992, with Amoco Sharjah announcing a new onshore gas and condensate field and increased reserves at existing fields.

Data as of January 1993