Abu Dhabi's Adnoc ‘Open’ to More Partners at Onshore Oil Fields

  • State producer awarded 18% share of production rights so far
  • Adnoc was seeking foreign partners for up to 40% of venture

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. is willing to accept additional partners at its main onshore fields, a senior company official said, almost a year after awarding less than half the production rights it offered for the deposits in a bidding round.

The Persian Gulf emirate, which holds about 6 percent of proven global oil reserves, is investing to boost output capacity to 3.5 million barrels a day of oil by 2017 from about 3 million currently. Total SA of France won a 10 percent stake in Abu Dhabi’s onshore joint venture, but other former partners in the project including Exxon Mobil Corp., BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc either declined to bid or wouldn’t meet Adnoc’s terms.

“The door is open, if they can meet the technical and commercial requirements,” Abdul Munim Al Kindy, Adnoc’s director of exploration and production, said Tuesday on the sidelines of an event in Abu Dhabi. Al Kindy earlier this month left his role running the joint venture that operates the onshore concession to take over as head of exploration at Adnoc.

Al Kindy’s appointment was one of the first major personnel changes by Sultan Al Jaber, who became Adnoc’s new director general last month. Under Al Jaber, the company will focus on controlling costs and boosting production of natural gas as the sheikhdom seeks more of the fuel to run power plants and enhance recovery at oil fields, Al Kindy said.

Adnoc awarded a combined share of 18 percent of the onshore oil concession to foreign partners last year. That leaves 22 percent of the venture to be awarded to foreign firms if Abu Dhabi decides to maintain its 60 percent interest. Aside from Total, Adnoc’s other partners are Inpex Corp. of Japan, with a 5 percent stake, and South Korea’s GS Energy Corp., with 3 percent.

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