Our work in United Arab Emirates

With agreements on E&P, refining and chemicals, our presence in UAE is becoming increasingly broad, driven by the scale of the Ruwais and Ghasha projects and the partnership with ADNOC.


Exploration of high potential areas

In the last two years we have signed strategically important agreements with the United Arab Emirates, starting in 2018 with an asset acquisition campaign aimed at establishing our presence in the country. In particular, in Abu Dhabi we have acquired two 40-year concession agreements to take a 5% stake in the Lower Zakum oilfield and a 10% stake in the Umm Shaif and Nasr oil, condensate and gas fields in production in the country's offshore. The overall transaction was worth approximately $875m. In the same year, we were awarded a 40-year 25% stake in the Ghasha offshore concession, which includes the Hail, Ghasha, Dalma and other offshore fields located in the Al Dhafra region. Production start-up is planned for 2022. In January 2019, we won the operatorship with a 70% stake in Exploration Blocks 1 and 2 in the country's offshore sector. The first-phase commitment includes exploratory studies for Block 1 and the drilling of two exploratory wells and two appraisal wells in Block 2. In January of the same year, we also obtained three onshore exploration concessions in Sharjah: the operatorship and a 75% stake in areas A and C, and a 50% stake in area B. The first exploration phase commitment includes the drilling of a well and exploratory studies in areas A and B and exploratory studies in area C. Finally, in April 2019, we acquired an offshore exploratory concession in Ras al Khaimah, winning the operatorship in area A with a 90% stake. 

Within the remit of our exploration work in the country, in January 2020 we announced our discovery, onshore in the emirate of Sharjah, of the exploratory well Mahani-1, home to gas and condensates. The production start-up from Mahani Field started in January 2021, achieved in less than two years from contract assignment and one year since discovery announcement. Production from the Mahani field is sent through a new multiphase trunk line to SNOC’s Sajaa Gas Plant where it is processed.  Development activities, sanctioned with the final investment decision, provide the progressive ramp-up with the tie-back of two additional productive wells. Drilling activities were already planned.

In December 2020 we signed a Concession Agreement for the acquisition of a 70% stake in the Exploration Offshore Block 3, located in the north-west offshore of the Abu Dhabi Emirate. The block is the largest area to be awarded among those blocks that were offered for commercial bidding by ADNOC in May 2019 as part of Abu Dhabi’s second competitive block licensing round. Under the terms of the agreements, Eni will operate the concession to explore for oil and gas and appraise the existing discoveries in the block, which covers an area of approximately 11,660 square kilometers. The exploration phase of the agreement has a maximum period of up to 9 years. New state of the art 3D seismic data has already been acquired for a part of the block, which is in close proximity to existing large oil and gas producing and under development fields, in part participated by Eni, and that is estimated to have a promising potential. The near-field nature of the exploration targets will allow to exploit the synergies with the nearby existing infrastructure.

In April 2021, through its subsidiary Eni RAK, Eni has been awarded Block 7 located in the onshore of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.The presence of the existing gas processing facilities in the Emirate would also allow a rapid development of any discoveries. The block represents an underexplored acreage in a complex thrust belt geological setting, similar to that of the recent discovery of Mahani in the adjacent Sharjah Emirate. Production start-up was achieved from the Mahani field, just one year after Mahani 1 exploration well discovery and two years after signing the concession agreement. Development activities, sanctioned with the final investment decision, provide the progressive ramp-up with the tie-back of two additional productive wells.

In 2022 exploration activities yielded positive results in the operated Block 2 (Eni’s interest 70%) with the XF-002 well, in offshore Abu Dhabi. Drilling activities are ongoing, and upon completion expected in the second quarter of 2022 the size of the discovery will be evaluated.

Initiatives for decarbonization

We aim for operational excellence in our activities, reducing direct CO2 emissions from operating assets. We develop new technologies to capture, store and use CO2 to bolster our decarbonization strategy. In line with our goal, we are also working in Abu Dhabi to achieve zero net emissions by 2030. Specifically, we are working with ADNOC to build a carbon capture and storage plant and an enhanced oil recovery project in the BAB field, which will reduce emissions to 360 thousand tonnes per year. We have also launched a project to electrify the Lower Zakum, Umm Shaif / Nasr and Dalma fields, with the aim of further reducing emissions by 200 thousand tonnes per year.

In September 2021 we signed with Mubadala Petroleum, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at identifying cooperation opportunities in the energy transition sector, including the fields of hydrogen and carbon capture, utilization and storage, that align with their respective decarbonization targets. The scope of the cooperation covers potential joint opportunities in the Middle East, North Africa, South East Asia, Europe and other regions of mutual interest. This agreement marks a further tangible step in line with Eni's commitment towards carbon neutrality by 2050.

Eni a Expo 2020 Dubai: Innovation means making things possible

Eni at Expo 2020 Dubai

The first Universal Exposition to take place in an Arab country will be held from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022 in UAE, and we will be attending as Platinum Sponsor of the Italian Pavilion.


Refining in a strategic location

In July 2019 we finalised refining and trading agreements with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) as part of a strategic partnership for us. In particular, we acquired a 20% stake in ADNOC Refining. The Downstream partnership also benefits from an advantageous geographical location to supply markets in Africa, Asia and Europe. ADNOC Refining runs three refineries, in the Ruwais and Abu Dhabi areas, with an overall refining capacity of more than 900,000 barrels a day. The Ruwais complex is fourth in the world in terms of production capacity and guarantees a high level of conversion. The overall refining capacity of the three refineries held by Eni is 184 thousand barrels per day.

Claudio Descalzi and The Ruler of Sharjah to discuss future opportunities

In January 2021 The Ruler of Sharjah and Eni CEO took the stock of Eni's activities in the country. They also discussed future opportunities relating to the energy transition and projects related to renewables, an increasingly strategic area for Eni in the Middle East. View the LinkedIn post

We create energy

We work every day to drive development in the Middle East. In the United Arab Emirates we recently launched the Ruwais refining project and the Ghasha  project for the exploration, production and development of hydrocarbons in the area. Through our business activities, socio-economic projects and commitment to reduce environmental impact in the country, we also contribute towards the achievement of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


In 2018, we were awarded a 25% stake in the Ghasha offshore concession, which includes the Hail, Ghasha, Dalma and other offshore fields. Hail, Ghasha and Dalma are located in the Al Dhafra region and will tap into the Arab basin, which is estimated to contain several trillion standard cubic feet of recoverable gas.

Discover Ghasha
Discover Ghasha

Refining in Ruwais

In 2018, we launched a new growth phase in the refining sector by acquiring 20% of the Ruwais refinery in Abu Dhabi, worth $3.3 bn. The acquisition of the refinery enables us to increase our refining capacity by around 35% and significantly improve our forward-looking profitability.

Discover Ruwais
Discover Ruwais

Exploring the United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi, the largest and richest of the seven emirates, may be the driver behind the UAE's economy.

Economic growth in the country slongside development in the oil and gas market.