Abu Dhabi Says BP Not Invited in June to Bid for Onshore Oil

BP Plc (BP/) wasn’t invited last month to bid for onshore oilfield concessions in the United Arab Emirates, the head of state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. said.

“They did not receive an invitation. They were not on the list,” Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi, director general of Abu Dhabi National Oil, told reporters today at the U.A.E. port of Fujairah. His company, known as Adnoc, sent letters in June to “many” potential bidders other than BP, he said. “We had a big list, and we sent them all.”

BP said last week it was still in talks with Abu Dhabi about renewing rights to produce oil in the Middle Eastern emirate, after a report indicated the company had been excluded from negotiations. “Constructive discussions are taking place at all levels,” David Nicholas, a BP spokesman, said July 6.

BP, Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), Total SA and Partex Oil & Gas are shareholders in output from Abu Dhabi’s main onshore oil fields, under concession agreements that the international companies or their forebears have held since 1939. Adnoc became a partner in the 1970s, forming Abu Dhabi Co. for Onshore Oil Operations, which has the rights for six main deposits until 2014. Abu Dhabi holds more than 90 percent of the crude in the U.A.E., one of the few Middle Eastern countries that allow overseas companies to explore for and produce oil within its borders. The five foreign partners as well as other producers may participate in bidding for Abu Dhabi’s 1.4 million barrel-a-day onshore oil

rights as current contracts expire.

BP may still be involved at a later date, according to Abdul Munim Saif al-Kindy, the chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi Co. for Onshore Oil Operations.

“The whole process is just starting, so we can’t be definitive with anyone,” al-Kindy said in Fujairah. “Still, everything is open.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony DiPaola in Dubai at adipaola@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss on sev@bloomberg.net.

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