Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • US aid drops begin in besieged Iraqi town of Amerli

    Read more

  • Tusk, Mogherini set for top EU jobs amid talk of Russia sanctions

    Read more

  • Filipino UN peacekeepers escape Islamists in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Pakistani protesters clash with police outside PM's house

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

Middle east

Debt-laden Dubai discovers new offshore oil field

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-02-04

The ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum (pictured) announced in a statement Thursday the discovery of a new offshore oil field. Dubai's oil reserves, mostly offshore, are expected to be exhausted within 20 years.

AFP - The government of Dubai, facing dwindling oil resources and a mountain of debt, announced on Thursday the discovery of a new offshore oil field which it hoped would rescue its limping economy.
  
The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed al-Maktoum, "heralds the good news to the people of the United Arab Emirates that a new offshore oil field has been discovered in Dubai," a government statement said.
  
The UAE sits on the world's fifth largest proven oil reserves, amounting to 97.8 billion barrels of crude oil. But 95 percent of those reserves are controlled by the leading partner in the federation, Abu Dhabi.
  
The UAE also has 214.4 trillion cubic feet (six trillion cubic metres) of gas reserves, ranking it sixth in the world after Russia, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
  
Dubai's poor oil reserves, mostly offshore, are expected to be exhausted within 20 years, while it controls only two percent of the country's gas wealth, according to UAE government website.
  
The statement did not provide information about the size of the new field, saying that Sheikh Mohammed instructed the emirate's oil department to "begin exploration work and conduct needed research to specify the size of the reserve, and its production capacity in the short and long term."
  
It said that the new field lies east of the small Rashid field, which is located some 70 kilometres (44 miles) off Dubai's Gulf coast.
  
Dubai discovered oil in commercial quantities in 1966 at the offshore Fateh field, and began exporting in 1969. Its oil reserves stand at four billion barrels.
  
The city-state's oil production reportedly peaked in 1991 at 410,000 barrels per day and has been steadily declining since, dropping to 170,000 bpd in 2000. Up-to-date official figures are not available.
  
Sheikh Mohammed, who is also the UAE vice president and Prime Minister, hoped the discovery would "give a strong boost to all sectors of the local economy and provide a new source of revenue that could strengthen the drive for comprehensive development in Dubai," the statement said.
  
Dubai's economy had boomed over the past years on non-oil sectors, particularly real estate and construction, which attracted huge investments, in addition to its prospering tourism sector.
  
But its rapid economic growth came to a grinding halt after the global financial crisis hit Dubai in autumn 2008, drying out foreign financing that was vital for the overheated real estate sector.
  
Dubai had heavily borrowed its way to build its economy, splashing on grandiose projects, mainly man-made tree-shaped islands. It is now facing severe problems in meeting its debt obligations.
  
The emirate sent jitters through world global markets in November when it said it needed to freeze payments on the debt of its largest state-corporate, Dubai World.
  
The group is now negotiating the restructuring of some 22 billion dollars in debts owed by its troubled subsidiaries.
  
Dubai's total debt is estimated at between 80 and 100 billion dollars, although some reports say it could be as high as 170 billion dollars.
  
But the emirate has so far leaned on its rich neighbour Abu Dhabi, which together with the central bank, has extended aid worth 20 billion dollars in 2009 to bail out Dubai's troubled companies.
  
 

Date created : 2010-02-04

COMMENT(S)