You are here

UAE's Adnoc wants to rival oil majors

It plans to gain access to new markets abroad and expand its share in oil and gas by going downstream

Abu Dhabi

ABU Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc) will remain wholly-owned by the Abu Dhabi government and has no plan to go public, but the firm aspires to compete with Big Oil by expanding in refining and gas, ADNOC's CEO told Reuters.

Adnoc, which announced two gas deals with France's Total and Italy's Eni this week, will strike more agreements in that sector and seek investment opportunities abroad in liquefied natural gas (LNG), Sultan Al Jaber said.

"Adnoc will continue to be wholly owned by one and only one shareholder, and that is the Abu Dhabi government," Mr Al Jaber said.

But the company will continue to "unlock the potential" of its other subsidiaries and assets as it works to gain access to new markets abroad and expand its share in oil and gas, he said.

"There will be more initiative (gas) plans," Mr Al Jaber said in an interview in Abu Dhabi. "We are not going to expand beyond our borders in upstream. We don't need to. We have access to vast, vast oil and gas reserves," he said. "Our expansion ... is going to be in downstream, whether refining or petrochemicals."

On Sunday, Adnoc said it had signed an agreement with Total granting the French company a 40 per cent stake in the Ruwais Diyab unconventional gas concession.

Adnoc aims to reach one billion cubic feet per day of unconventional gas production before 2030. "This is untapped. No one is doing this at this scale in this region," he said of the tight-gas project with Total.

On Tuesday Adnoc signed a deal with Eni, awarding the Italian company a 25 per cent stake in an offshore ultra-sour gas project.

A day earlier the Abu Dhabi producer also signed a framework agreement with national energy company Saudi Aramco to explore investment opportunities in natural gas and LNG.

As the diplomatic alliance between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi grows closer, cooperation between the two state-run firms is also increasing. The two companies are to invest jointly in an oil refinery and petrochemicals complex in India.

Aramco and Adnoc working together is "a powerhouse", Mr Al Jaber said. "We are going to be soon looking and exploring LNG business opportunities together with Aramco."

Adnoc, the top national energy company of the United Arab Emirates, a key member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, produces about three million barrels of oil and 10.5 billion cubic feet of raw gas a day. Last week, it announced plans to increase its oil production capacity to four million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of 2020 and five million bpd by 2030 after unveiling new oil and gas finds.

The UAE wants to achieve gas self-sufficiency and possibly become a net gas exporter. It holds the seventh-largest proven reserves of natural gas in the world, at slightly more than 215 trillion cubic feet, according to the US Department of Energy. REUTERS

BT is now on Telegram!

For daily updates on weekdays and specially selected content for the weekend. Subscribe to