ADNOC has awarded Total a 40% stake in its Ruwais Diyab Unconventional Gas Concession for exploration, appraisal, and development of the area’s unconventional gas resources, Pipeline Oil and Gas Magazine reported.

The agreement, the first of its kind in the region, includes a seven-year exploration and appraisal phase, followed by a 40-year production phase. It was signed by Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, ADNOC Group Chief Executive Officer and Patrick Pouyanné, CEO and Chairman of Total in ADNOC’s Thamama Subsurface Collaboration Center.

ADNOC is retaining the remaining 60% stake and aims to reach an unconventional gas total production target of 1 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) before 2030.

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, ADNOC Group Chief Executive Officer said, “Total and ADNOC have agreed on commercial terms that will enable the project to deliver maximum value from our unconventional gas reserves as we work towards achieving gas self-sufficiency, for the UAE, and transition to having the capacity to become a net gas exporter.”

“As ADNOC embarks on the exploration and development of Abu Dhabi’s unconventional gas resources, it will undergo an accelerated learning curve which will help drive efficiencies in drilling and hydraulic fracturing, and allow us to create higher value from what is a more challenging resource compared to the giant conventional oil and gas fields of Abu Dhabi,” he added.

Patrick Pouyanné, CEO and Chairman of Total said, “We are pleased to be the first international company to pioneer unconventional gas exploration in Abu Dhabi alongside ADNOC…the Diyab play has the potential to be a high impact play ranking alongside the most prolific North American shale gas plays and is an excellent addition to our exploration portfolio.”

Total is the fourth largest global company for oil and gas with business covers all value chain from crude oil and natural gas production and exploration to power generation, transition, refining, marketing and trading.