Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) is in advanced discussions with more than a dozen potential partners who have expressed a significant interest in the offshore concession, currently operated by the Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (Adma-Opco) that expires next March.
The potential partners are a mix of existing concession holders in Adnoc's offshore fields and new participants, Adnoc said.
The announcement comes shortly after Adnoc unveiled the expansion of its strategic partnership model, as well as the active management of its portfolio of assets.
Adnoc's new approach, which builds on its flexible and enhanced operating model as well as its 2030 growth strategy, will enable the company to unlock and maximise value from across the group, the company said.
The new approach will deliver improved revenue streams and ensure smart growth, while also enhancing performance and securing greater access for Adnoc's products in key growth markets.
The existing Adma-Opco concession will be split into two, or more, concessions with new terms to unlock greater value and increase partnership opportunities. The concession will comprise a mix of the Lower Zakum field, Umm Shaif, Nasr, Umm Lulu and Satah Al Razboot (SARB) fields.
Adnoc, on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government, will retain a 60 per cent shareholding in the new concession areas.
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Group CEO of Adnoc, said: "We have received great interest in the concessions from both existing and potential new partners. Discussions are progressing well and companies have been drawn by our stable investment environment and Adnoc's reliability as a partner, as well as the attractive and sustainable returns that will be generated.
"As part of Adnoc's new partnership approach, we look forward to working with partners who will bring new and innovative thinking to the table. Partners who can demonstrate tangible value-add to our operations through technology, expertise, long term capital and market access, as well as a shared commitment to drive operational performance and efficiency to deliver smart growth and strong financial returns. Our ideal partners should also be willing to invest across different parts of our value chain," Dr Al Jaber added.
Interest in the new concession areas is being driven by Adnoc's track-record of successful long-term relationships with its partners; the stable investment climate in the UAE; the UAE's leading low production costs and its globally recognised record on health safety and protection of the environment.
Following Adnoc's 2016 announcement to consolidate the offshore operations of Adma-Opco and the Zakum Development Company (Zadco), the new Adma concessions and the existing Upper Zakum concession, operated by Zadco, will be operated by the new integrated offshore company, capitalising on operational synergies and enhanced performance. The consolidation of the two companies is due to be completed before the end of the year.
Existing shareholders in Adma-Opco are BP (14.67 per cent), Total (13.33pc) and Jodco (12pc). The international shareholders in Zadco are ExxonMobil (28pc) and Jodco (12pc). The Abu Dhabi Government, through Adnoc, has a 60 per cent interest in both operating companies.
As Adnoc looks to boost oil production capacity to 3.5 million bpd in 2018, offshore development is a strategic focus of the company. The existing concession area operated by Adma-Opco, which produces around 700,000 barrels a day of oil, is planned to have a production capacity of about 1.0 million barrels per day by 2021.
Adnoc has adopted a progressive approach to delivering its future growth through its 2030 strategy, which aims to ensure a more profitable upstream business, a more valuable downstream business, and an economic and sustainable supply of gas.
In upstream, Adnoc is adapting to the evolving market environment by maximising operational efficiencies, reducing costs and increasing crude oil production capacity to 3.5 million bpd in 2018. In its gas business, Adnoc will develop a variety of natural gas sources, including tapping into gas caps and undeveloped deep and sour gas reserves.
While in downstream, Adnoc aims to stretch the margin of each refined barrel of oil and expand petrochemical production from 4.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 11.4 mtpa by 2025. It will develop new, high-value products to meet growing demand and increase refining capacity to create new revenue streams, the company said.