Abu Dhabi plans to form new onshore concession in 2015

05 December 2013

Emirate requires capital investment of $48bn to meet production targets

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) is aiming to form a new joint venture to manage its onshore fields in 2015 to give it an “interim year” to select new partners, according to a senior source from the state-owned oil company.

The current onshore concession, Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (Adco), expires in January 2014 with Adnoc receiving bids in October from at least 10 international oil companies (IOCs) vying to form a new joint venture.

“[The year] 2015 is the date that we are working towards to form a new concession… there will be an interim year to make sure we find the right partners,” a spokesperson from Adnoc said. “In the meantime we will operate the concession as the sole-risk shareholder.”

The company’s existing partners in Adco – BP, ExxonMobil, Shell, Total and Portugal’s Partex – will continue to assist Adnoc to operate the fields until a new partnership is formed.

Abu Dhabi’s onshore fields currently produce over half of the emirate’s total crude production and contain an estimated 21 billion barrels on known crude reserves.

Local media have reported that the existing concession could be split into four blocks, but Adnoc said that the final structure of the new concession was yet to be decided.

Adnoc is aiming to increase Abu Dhabi’s total crude production capacity to 3.5 million barrels a day (b/d) up from a current capacity of 2.8 million b/d and investing heavily to boost gas output.

“Adnoc will require a capital investment of $48bn in the next five years to meet its targets,” said the Adnoc spokesperson, adding that this would be split roughly evenly between onshore and offshore fields.

“We continue to target 3 million b/d and we are not too far off,” said the spokesman when asked about near-term production targets. “We are an Opec country so we have to [produce to] the quota that is given to us.”

As part of the production push Abu Dhabi’s offshore capacity will be increased by 600,000 b/d by 2017. Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (Adma-Opco)is aiming to boost capacity by 400,000 b/d to 1 million b/d and Zakum Development Company (Zadco) by 200,000 b/d to 750,000 million b/d.

Adnoc said it had no plans to increase exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its operations at Das Island, despite some market speculation about a project for a fourth liquefaction train.

“We don’t foresee any expansion in the LNG export business,” said the spokesperson.

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