EXCLUSIVE: Internationals express interest in Abu Dhabi oil and gas blocks

14 May 2018
Adnoc is organising roadshows in global energy hubs to promote the emirate’s first ever licensing round

International Oil Companies (IOCs) have shown “significant interest” to participate in Abu Dhabi’s first ever oil and gas licensing round, in which six blocks have been offered, a source has told MEED.

The IOCs have attended two of the four planned roadshows the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) has so far hosted in Abu Dhabi and Houston, to offer extensive details of the four onshore and two offshore blocks, and to promote the licensing round.

“Adnoc has got strong response from the international players that have attended the roadshows [so far],” the source said without naming the companies.

Adnoc on 10 April announced it had offered the six blocks containing ‘multi-billion barrels of oil’ and ‘multi-million trillion cubic feet of gas’, based on a P50 estimate of reserves.

The Abu Dhabi oil giant said it would be organising roadshows starting 30 April in Abu and through May in Houston, London and Hong Kong.

After the roadshows, Adnoc will open data rooms to interested parties to view legacy data, seismic surveys and other relevant studies. “There is massive data dating back to accumulation over 50 years of exploration effort that has been included in the database. We are confident that the data will motivate a high degree of interest from companies,” Abdulmunim Saif Al-Kindy, Adnoc's Upstream director had told MEED on 10 April.

Interested firms have until October to submit bids to Adnoc. Abu Dhabi’s Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) will then evaluate the bids, based on the criteria mentioned in the licensing tender, and name the winners by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the UAE’s National newspaper has reported quoting a senior Adnoc official as saying that Chinese upstream players have “demonstrated great interest” in participating in the licensing round.

State-owned China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) already owns an 8 per cent stake in Abu Dhabi’s main onshore concession, operated by Adnoc Onshore, while it recently won a 20 per cent total stake – 10 per cent in the Umm Shaif and Nasr block and a 10 per cent stake in the Lower Zakum block – in the Adnoc Offshore concession.

The China Energy Company Limited (CEFC China) owns a 4 per cent stake in the Adnoc Onshore concession.

While the renewal of the existing onshore and offshore oil concessions, which was split up into blocks to maximise commercial value from the stakes, helps Abu Dhabi maintain both its output and status as a key global crude exporter, the new licensing round has the potential to considerably fuel the emirate’s energy ambitions.

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