Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) is in advanced discussions with almost a dozen companies to operate an offshore concession, the firm said in a statement.

The concession on offer is operated by Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (Adma-Opco), and includes a mix of the Lower Zakum, Umm Shaif, Nasr, Umm Lulu and Satah al-Razboot fields. 

Adma-Opco’s lease expires in March and the company is in discussions with existing stakeholders as well as new partners to operate the concession. Both Adma-Opco and Zakum Development Company (Zadco), which operates the Upper Zakum block, will be consolidated by the end of the year and will be operated by the newly integrated offshore firm.

Adnoc is looking to divide the concession area into two or more blocks, but will retain a 60 per cent share.

The producer is targeting a boost in production capacity of 1 million barrels a day (b/d) at the concession by 2021, from 700,000 b/d at present.

Last month, Adnoc said it was in talks with Chinese and Japanese firms to invest across various segments of its value chain. The move comes after the company said it would open up some of its assets to partnerships with international firms.

The oil company said current and potential partners from China and Japan had expressed interest in investing across its upstream, midstream and downstream segments.

The Adma-Opco concession is currently operated by the UK’s BP, France’s Total and Japan Oil Development Company (Jodco), while Zadco’s foreign shareholders are the US’ ExxonMobil and Jodco.

The move is in line with the UAE’s target to boost production capacity to 3.5 million b/d by 2018.