Abu Dhabi National Oil Company opens up to new partnerships

10 July 2017

State oil producer could publicly list minority stakes in some of its businesses

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) will open up some of its assets to partnerships with international companies and could publicly list minority stakes in some of its businesses, the state-owned company announced.

The company said it plans to offer a range of partnerships and co-investment opportunities across its business, including upstream, midstream, refining and petrochemicals in order to unlock value and drive revenue growth.

Adnoc Group CEO and UAE Minister of State Sultan al-Jaber said that the company “will soon begin dialogue with both new and existing partners from around the world.

Abu Dhabi, in contrast to the other major GCC oil exporters Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, operates its oil and fields in several joint ventures with international oil companies (IOCs), which has enjoyed a strong presence in the UAE oil sector since Adnoc was formed in 1971.

Adnoc said that its new expanded partnership approach will accelerate the delivery of its 2030 strategy. The strategy is to establish a more profitable upstream business, a more valuable downstream business, and an economic and sustainable supply of gas for Abu Dhabi.

The company is also considering the initial public offering (IPO) of minority stakes of some of its service businesses. Some of these IPOs would support the expansion of the UAE’s private sector and equity capital markets and will allow the public to invest in Adnoc businesses.

“Our new approach comes at a time when global economic growth and energy demand is shifting East. These changes in energy demand sit alongside a rapid increase in demand for products derived from hydrocarbons - petrochemicals, plastics and polymers,” said Al-Jaber.

Adnoc said it is looking for partners that meet a clear set of criteria, which include: the ability to secure better access to the world’s fastest growing target markets for the company’s products; the willingness to contribute technical expertise and co-develop new technologies alongside Adnoc’s own capabilities; and, the potential to co-invest strategically across different parts of a more integrated Adnoc value chain.

The opportunities will not just be IOCs as in the past. Adnoc said partners could include specialist infrastructure and energy investors, long term global investment institutions and other energy, services and petrochemical companies, as well as strengthening ties with existing partners.

Adnoc said the new strategy would create new, high-skilled jobs across the Adnoc business and create new opportunities for the UAE private sector, boosting local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and other suppliers. It will also increase foreign direct investment, technology and knowledge transfer to the UAE, the company said.

Adnoc aims to expand crude production capacity to 3.5 million barrels a day (b/d) by 2018 and boost petrochemicals production to 11.4 million tonnes a year (t/y) by 2025 from the current 4.5 million t/y.

The company is also planning several developments of sour gas reservoirs both onshore and offshore to meet growing domestic demand for power and other industrial applications.

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