Abu Dhabi has increased its total oil reserves by 2 billion barrels to 107 billion barrels thanks to new discoveries, the emirate’s Supreme Petroleum Council said on Sunday.

The council also announced Abu Dhabi had 22 billion barrels of unconventional oil reserves to date, again thanks to new discoveries onshore. This amount is larger than the reserves contained in Abu Dhabi’s fields in development and, according to the Supreme Petroleum Council, could rival the U.S. shale boom.

“Today’s announcement by the SPC of the discovery of recoverable unconventional oil resources demonstrates how ADNOC is efficiently expediting the exploration and development of Abu Dhabi’s unconventional resources and marks a major milestone as the nation’s unconventional industry evolves,” said the UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, who also doubles as chief executive of Adnoc, Abu Dhabi’s oil company.

“Importantly, the increase in the UAE’s conventional oil reserves sends a strong signal that ADNOC is leaving no stone unturned in unlocking value from our abundant hydrocarbon resources to ensure the UAE remains a long-term and reliable energy provider to the world for decades to come,” he added. Related: Norway Opens New Arctic Oil Blocks For Exploration

The announcement and the comments come days after reports emerged that the UAE was not particularly happy with the extension of OPEC+ production cuts and was even considering leaving the cartel to pursue its own oil policy independently.

“As a reliable and longstanding member of OPEC, we have always been open and transparent in all our decisions and strategies in support of OPEC.” UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei told Reuters last week following the reports. He added that the UAE had “demonstrated this commitment through our compliance to the current OPEC+ agreement.”

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The OPEC+ alliance has not been the most stable of alliances, with Saudi Arabia and Russia instrumental for keeping the other members in line in pursuit of their common interest of higher prices. While the reports about the UAE considering a break may not be true, new discoveries suggest plans for more production, despite the grim outlook for oil demand.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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