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BP Seeks New U.A.E. Rights as Deal Expiry Hurts Partners

Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- BP Plc is bidding for oil production rights in Abu Dhabi as the company and former partners in a concession there said they’ll lose output as the accord expired.

“We and seven or nine other companies have submitted bids,” Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley said today at a press briefing in London. “We’re not putting assumption of success in any of our plans.”

BP expects to report lower output this year, which in part reflects the loss of 140,000 barrels a day from Abu Dhabi. Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc also said they’ll lose volumes after the 75-year rights agreement expired last month, leaving them with no direct stakes in onshore production there.

State-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., or Adnoc, took over operation of the fields and is evaluating offers from producers seeking a stake in a new concession. The bidders may need to wait about a year before rights are awarded, Dudley said today.

Exxon is forgoing about 140,000 barrels of oil a day after the end of the concession, Vice President of Investor Relations David Rosenthal said Jan. 30. Shell is down about 155,000 barrels a day, about 4 percent of total output, from the loss of the license, Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said that day.

The Abu Dhabi concession paid the international companies a fixed amount for the oil produced. While partner Total SA said Jan. 15 it had bid for new rights in the emirate, Shell and Exxon are yet to confirm their participation. The remaining partner, Portugal’s Partex Oil & Gas, wasn’t asked to bid.

Of the 11 companies invited by Adnoc to bid, all submitted offers, Abdul Munim Saif al-Kindy, CEO of the producer’s onshore operating unit, said in November. That contrasts with Dudley’s suggestion that BP and as many as nine others made bids.

Korea National Oil Corp. and Italy’s Eni SpA are among other companies to confirm they’re bidding.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net

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