The description of the development and facilities of the Margham field in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is the subject of this paper. In February, 1980, ARCO International Oil and Gas Co., a division of Atlantic Richfield, signed a concession agreement with the Government of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. In March, 1982, with Britoil as a partner, a discovery well was completed that confirmed a thick accumulation of gas condensate.

The principals agreed to immediate development, and construction of the production facilities was completed in late 1984.

This gas-condensate field is currently producing 24,000 barrels per day(3815 m /day) of condensate and reinjecting 300 MMS CFD (8.5 × 10 standard m/day) of the produced gas. As of October 1, 1985 it had produced eight million barrels (1.27 × 10-6 m3). produced eight million barrels (1.27 × 10-6 m3).


Noteworthy technical accomplishments in the development of these facilities are:

Installation of fourteen miles of duplex stainless steel piping for the gathering lines over remote desert.

Complete reinjection of the gas (after extraction of the condensate) with state of art compressors with a discharge pressure of 7200 psig. This not only preserves the energy for use by future generations of UAE residents, but improve economics of the field.

Installation of a modern, state of the art distributed control system forgood plant control, ease of operation and low maintenance.

Early decision for a phased type development of the plant facilities before full field delineation. This allowed for effective matching of the reservoir size with the optimum produced gas rate and the facility design. When the final reservoir size proved lower than our initial estimates, plans were effectively downscaled with minimal capital exposure and the schedule for facility completion did not suffer.


Dubai is the second largest of the seven states which form the United Arab Emirates. Margham Field lies within the bare, sandy desert which rises gently toward the rugged Oman Mountains from a 435 mile (700 Km) coastline of the Arabian Gulf. The elevation of Margham #1, the first discovery well, is about600 feet (175 m) above sea level.

Through early Mesozoic time, the site of the ARCO Dubai block and virtually all the area of the United Arab Emirates was a stable carbonate platform within the petroliferous Arabian Gulf platform within the petroliferous Arabian Gulf segment of the Tethyan seaway. Rapid production of back-reef, bioclastic limestones and fringing reefs dominated an area at least as broad as from the Batinah coast on the east to Iran on the northwest - beyond which dark pelagic lime muds were deposited. About Middle Cretaceous time, extension in neighboring oceans subjected the platform to normal faulting and caused the subsidence of a trough in roughly the position of the present-day Oman Mountains. As this trough filled with sediments, its depo-axis migrated westward to the approximate position of the present Trucial coast and the carbonate platform subsided to become the Rub'Al Khali basin.

About Mid-Tertiary time, plate boundary collision between Afro-Arabia and Eurasia caused the Oman Mountain fold-belt to rise, barring the Arabian Gulf region as an evaporate basin, shedding coarse clastics eastward toward the modern Gulf of Oman and causing sheets of platform strata to be up-folded into anticlines and thrust westward.

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