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ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

ADNOC announces drilling world record and unveils new upstream emissions target


Drilling tower at sunset Photo: ADNOC
ADNOC has drilled a record-breaking 50,000 ft long extended reach well from an artificial island at its Upper Zakum Concession in the UAE

Photo: ADNOC

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) reports that it has delivered a new world record for the longest well at its Upper Zakum Concession in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The company has also announced a new upstream methane intensity target of 0.15% by 2025, which it claims is the lowest in the Middle East.

The record-breaking oil and gas well was drilled from Umm Al Anbar, one of four artificial islands that have been set up to serve as a hub for offshore drilling and operations at Upper Zakum. Stretching 50,000 ft, the well is around 800 ft longer than the previous world record set in 2017.

Together with international partners ExxonMobil and Inpex/Jodco, ADNOC is drilling a series of extended reach wells to tap into an undeveloped part of the reservoir with the potential to increase production capacity by 15,000 boe/d without the need to expand or build any new infrastructure.

ADNOC says its artificial island concept offers significant cost savings and environmental benefits compared to conventional approaches that traditionally require more offshore installations and infrastructure.

The Zakum field, which consists of the Upper Zakum and Lower Zakum reservoirs, is reportedly the largest offshore oil field in the world. Since June 2021, five of the top 10 longest wells in the world have been drilled from Upper Zakum’s artificial islands, according to ADNOC.

New upstream methane intensity target 
ADNOC has also announced a new upstream methane intensity target of 0.15% by 2025 – claimed to be the lowest in the Middle East.


The target means the company will be ranked in the Gold Standard category by the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership 2.0 (OGMP 2.0), a multi-stakeholder initiative launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition that aims to improve the accuracy and transparency of methane emissions reporting by the international oil and gas industry.


As part of its sustainability strategy, ADNOC plans to test and deploy the latest in emissions detection and quantification technologies by 2023, enabling the company to move towards improved and continuous measurements at source-level. It will use the data to define baselines for further reductions and target reductions from major emitting sources, including flaring, combustion and fugitive emissions.