UAE takes charge of big oilfields as western majors' deals expire

January 9, 2014

Abu Dhabi will take full control of the UAE' biggest oilfields when its decades-old venture with four western oil giants ends this weekend, while it weighs new partnerships that could include its long-term collaborators or Asian newcomers, Reuters reported on January 8.

The OPEC member country has held a 60-percent stake in Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) since acquiring an interest in fields that produce over half the United Arab Emirates' oil.

Four of the world's largest stock-listed energy companies - ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Total and BP - have each held 9.5 percent equity stakes in the ADCO concession since the 1970s and would be keen to prolong their involvement.

After their current deal expires on Jan. 11, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) will take 100 percent of the ADCO concession in what is seen as a temporary measure while political leaders in the UAE capital decide whether to let big Asian oil buyers in for the long-haul.

"All of the shareholdings of the foreign partners will go back to ADNOC," a spokesman for ADNOC said on January 8 after a ceremony to mark the end of the 75-year existing partnership.

Copyright: Reuters, 2014