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Abu Dhabi Will Pay Exxon, Inpex More to Pump Oil in Deal

Abu Dhabi will pay Exxon Mobil Corp. and Inpex Corp. more to pump oil at the largest field off the emirate’s coast as it extends a contract with the companies.

Exxon and Japan’s Inpex lengthened their deal for the Upper Zakum field in the Persian Gulf by 15 years through 2041, the Asian company said today in a statement, without giving further terms. The companies may get about $2.85 a barrel, up from $1 a barrel, International Oil Daily reported, without citing anyone.

They sought better terms to help pay for artificial islands to support drilling equipment as output capacity of Murban-grade crude rises to 750,000 barrels a day by 2017 from about 600,000 barrels now, Ali Hassan Al-Marzooqi, a senior vice president at the field’s operating unit, said yesterday. Output may expand to 1 million barrels a day by 2024, he said. Inpex said the joint venture operating at Upper Zakum is considering the plan.

Exxon confirmed that the extension was approved by the Supreme Petroleum Council, Abu Dhabi’s top oil policy body.

Exxon and Inpex are also among 11 U.S., European and Asian operators bidding at Abu Dhabi’s largest onshore concession. Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. began running the fields producing about 1.5 million barrels a day of Murban-grade crude on its own after a 75-year concession with its partners ended this month, Director General Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi said yesterday.

Seeking Investors

Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, is seeking investors to help it boost capacity to 3.5 million barrels of crude a day by 2017 from about 3 million now. The U.A.E. was the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ fourth-largest producer in the last month, figures compiled by Bloomberg show. Partners in Abu Dhabi’s oil fields also receive allocations of crude equal to the proportion of their holding in the deposit.

Adnoc, as Abu Dhabi National Oil is known, holds 60 percent of the Upper Zakum venture, Inpex 12 percent and Exxon the rest.

Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Co., another state-led venture operating a collection of fields, plans to boost production capacity to as much as 800,000 barrels a day in 2017 from 620,000 barrels now, before expanding to 1 million barrels in 2020, Chief Executive Officer Ali Al-Jarwan said yesterday.

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