Indians pay RM2.4b for stake in Abu Dhabi oil concession


ABU DHABIIndian companies agreed to pay US$600 million (RM2.36 billion) for a stake in one of Abu Dhabi’s biggest offshore oil concessions, securing a share in the emirate’s crude production for the first time.

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and two other Indian companies will take a 10% share of the concession to pump crude from the Lower Zakum field, under a 40-year contract in partnership with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc), according to an Adnoc statement. Adnoc signed the deal during a visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the capital of the United Arab Emirates on Saturday.

Abu Dhabi, which holds most of the UAE’s oil reserves, is looking for new partners at its offshore fields in the Persian Gulf as the current production concession for some deposits expires next month. Partners in Abu Dhabi’s fields generally receive an amount of crude oil commensurate with their stakes in return for tax and royalty payments and investment to boost output.

The Indian companies will pay 2.2 billion dirhams (RM2.36 billion) to Abu Dhabi for their stake in the field, according to the statement. That puts the overall value of the concession at US$6 billion. Adnoc, which retains 60% holdings in its fields, aims to award rights for an additional 30% of Lower Zakum as well as rights to two other offshore crude blocks.

The Indian consortium is comprised of ONGC’s wholly owned subsidiary ONGC Videsh, Indian Oil Corp, and Bharat PetroResources, which is a 100% subsidiary of Bharat Petroleum Corp, according to the Adnoc statement. Adnoc Offshore, a subsidiary of Adnoc, will operate the concession on behalf of all the partners.

Expanded production from its offshore reservoirs is part of Adnoc’s plans to raise its onshore and offshore output capacity to 3.5 million barrels a day by the end of 2018, according to the statement. Adnoc’s offshore fields currently produce about 1.4 million barrels a day, it said.

Current production at the field is about 400,000 barrels a day, and the plan is to increase the plateau target to 450,000 barrels a day by 2025, according to a statement from ONGC Videsh. — Bloomberg