French energy group Total has been awarded a 10 per cent stake in a new 40-year joint venture to operate Abu Dhabi’s onshore oil fields.

The joint venture, named Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Petroleum Operations Limited (Adco), will be responsible for more than half of the emirate’s crude production.

Total released a statement on the signing of the deal, which has been effective from 1 January, but no information has been released by majority shareholder Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) or other companies involved in the new entity.

The French group has also been appointed asset leader for the Bu Hasa and Southeast asset – the Sahil, Asab, Shah, Qusahwira and Mender fields – which accounts for about two-thirds of Adco’s production.

Adco is expected to produce 1.6 million barrels a day (b/d) in 2015, with an objective to increase output to 1.8 million b/d.

Adnoc took full owner ship of the fields when the previous Adco joint venture expires on 11 January 2014. The company was owned by Adnoc, BP, ExxonMobil, Shell, Total and Portugal’s Partex.

“We were the first international oil company to be selected for the joint venture. So far, we are the only one, and we are very happy with it,” said a Total spokesperson. “I think the other companies will follow.”

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