Arcadis has been appointed by Al Hosn Gas to perform a Health, Safety and Environmental Impact Assessment (HSEIA), to support their work in developing the Hail and Ghasha sour gas fields, the largest oil and gas project currently being planned in the UAE.
The Hail and Ghasha sour gas fields are located offshore in the Arabian Gulf, around 90 kilometres and 130 kilometres to the west of Abu Dhabi Island respectively, and form part of the wider North-West area. Major work is being planned to create a number of artificial islands that will enable Al Hosn Gas to develop the sites, and, ultimately, produce and transfer gas and condensate from both fields.
The gas and condensate that is extracted from the fields will help to provide the additional capacity that is needed to support the rising demand for power within the UAE. This will also deliver an economic boost to the Emirate and further cement the UAE’s position as a global hub in sour gas development and sulphur management.
Both the Hail and Ghasha fields are located in the Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO-protected area, which is home to several important representative habitats, including seagrass beds, coral reef communities, macro-algae outcrop and mangrove vegetation.
The reserve also provides a shelter and feeding ground for several vulnerable species. This means it is crucial that the environmental impact of the development is fully understood at the very outset of the project so that any potential risks can be mitigated in advance of construction.
Arcadis will deliver a range of environmental consultancy services as part of their new brief. This includes the oversight and project management of all the environmental baseline surveys being carried out, all the reporting and coordination between ADNOC and the Environmental Agency in Abu Dhabi (EAD), as well as submitting the final HSEIA report on the project.
David Bunyan, environment business director, Arcadis, said: “Developing the sour gas fields on Hail and Ghasha islands will help to improve quality of life by providing the people of the UAE with greater energy security. However, their location within an environmentally protected area means that thorough due diligence is required to make sure the development does not disrupt these natural habitats. It is great news that we are involved in the decision-making process and our aim is to deliver exceptional outcomes for both our client and the environment.”