Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) Group CEO Sultan al-Jaber has met US energy major ExxonMobil’s CEO, Darren Woods, to explore new opportunities for collaboration in the downstream sector.

The CEOs discussed downstream investments, including gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) opportunities. This follows Adnoc’s May 2018 announcement of its expansion plans in the refining and petrochemicals verticals.

“ExxonMobil and Adnoc share a long history of technical collaboration in the downstream business, both through licensing of technologies as well as support in catalysts,” Adnoc said in a statement.

The two energy giants have also been exploring how the refining partnership could be extended into research and development (R&D) as well.

Adnoc is moving ahead with several refining and petrochemical projects, as part of its $45bn-worth downstream expansion plan.

Adnoc in January also announced its landmark decision to sell a total of 35 per cent shares in its refining unit to foreign energy firms – 20 per cent to Italy’s Eni and 15 per cent to Austria’s OMV.

Al-Jaber later said Adnoc might consider divesting a further 5 per cent to 10 per cent stake in Adnoc Refining.

In March, Adnoc announced signing three memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with Austrian firms OMV and Borealis to explore opportunities in the downstream sector.

Under the terms of the first MoU, Adnoc and OMV will evaluate new opportunities in petrochemicals projects as a potential extension to their existing partnership, and exchange knowledge and experience in refinery-petrochemical integration and optimisation.

The two companies will also assess opportunities for petrochemicals marketing support.

The second MoU will see Adnoc and OMV jointly explore the potential of OMV’s ReOil technology in Abu Dhabi’s Ruwais, which hosts Adnoc’s integrated refining and petrochemicals hub.

The third MoU will see Adnoc and Borealis jointly explore potential growth opportunities within the integrated polyolefin industry in key geographical markets.

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