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Abu Dhabi Said to Complete Technical Review of Oil Bids in Weeks

Abu Dhabi’s state oil producer is almost finished reviewing technical aspects of international companies’ bids to develop the biggest onshore crude deposits in the emirate, two people with knowledge of the situation said.

Evaluating expansion plans and output targets proposed by 11 companies from the U.S., Europe and Asia seeking the concessions may take about two weeks more, said the people, who asked not to be identified since the process is confidential. Picking the best commercial terms among the offers, including how much companies would like to be paid for the work, should be finished this year, they said.

Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates and holder of most of the country’s crude reserves, is seeking new partners to help expand oil output. Exxon Mobil Corp., BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA in January lost rights as partners in the company operating Abu Dhabi’s onshore fields when their joint venture agreement expired after seven decades.

“We have a process and that process is ongoing,” Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi, director general of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., said on the sidelines a company event yesterday when asked about progress in the bidding. “There is no timetable” for naming winners, he said.

Abu Dhabi pumped 2.7 million barrels a day in March, or about 10 percent of all oil supplied by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The four former partners have contracts allowing them to continue buying Abu Dhabi crude oil for a six-month period from the end of the concession in January, according to Al Suwaidi. “We will see after that, subject to negotiation,” whether the contracts will be extended, he said. The companies had access to crude supply as shareholders in the deposits.

BP, Exxon, Shell, Total and seven others picked by Adnoc were invited to submit bids for the fields by October. Adnoc is reviewing the offers before submitting its recommendations to the Supreme Petroleum Council, Abu Dhabi’s top energy policy body, for a final decision on who the new partners will be.

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