The logo of Austrian oil and gas group OMV is seen at a gas station in Vienna, Austria, October 30, 2018. Picture taken October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader
OMV was earlier this year awarded two stakes worth $1.5bn in concessions offshore Abu Dhabi. Reuters

Adnoc awards Austria's OMV 5% stake in gas concession

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company awarded Austrian energy firm OMV a five per cent stake in the Ghasha concession, the third foreign partner for the ultra-sour gas project that contains high levels of sulphur.

OMV, which is partly owned by Mubadala Investment Company, joins fellow European energy companies Italy's Eni and Germany's Wintershall as partners on the concession, Adnoc said in a statement on Wednesday. The firm will contribute five per cent to the project capital and operational development expenses. Adnoc didn't reveal the value of the deal.

“This agreement builds on, and extends, our strong partnership with OMV, who we collaborate with in key areas across the oil and gas value chain," said Adnoc group chief executive Dr Sultan Al Jaber. "They bring extensive experience in sour gas operations, in Austria and Pakistan, and, like Adnoc, have a proven record working with mature and complex reservoirs."

Adnoc, which produces much of the UAE's oil, said last month it discovered large hydrocarbon deposits equivalent to a 1 per cent increase to existing oil reserves and a 7.1 per cent addition to proven gas reserves. The company also plans to boost its investment spend to ramp out oil output capacity to 5 million barrels per day by 2030 from about the current 3 million bpd.

The Ghasha project is expected to produce over 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day when it comes on stream, which Adnoc said could be in the middle of the next decade. The scheme is also expected to produce over 120,000 bpd of crude and high value condensate.

The gas generated would be sufficient to power more than two million homes, Adnoc added.

The deal is the second signed between OMV and Adnoc this year.

The Austrian firm bought stakes in two blocks offshore for $1.5 billion in Abu Dhabi's Sarb and Umm Lulu fields.


Read more:

Adnoc awards Germany's Wintershall 10% stake in sour gas project

Adnoc seeks venture partners for 2030 growth strategy, CEO says

Exclusive: Wintershall and DEA eye $3bn in spending over five years


Abu Dhabi's state producer also awarded French oil company Total a 40 per cent stake in the Ruwais Diyab concession last month. The agreement, which has a 40-year production term includes a six to seven-year exploration and appraisal phase.

Adnoc is also pursuing the development of its onshore Shah gas field, where it plans to increase production to 1.5 bcf. Plans are also underway to increase production capacity from the sour gas fields of Bab and Bu Hasa.

Sour gas contains high levels of sulphur that has to be stripped to produce gas suitable for consumption. Condensate is a liquid similar to oil found with gas, but fetches a higher price as it is easier to refine into by-products. Much of the gas reserves in Abu Dhabi are sour in nature.

In November, Adnoc awarded Spanish firm Tecnicas Reunidas a Dh5.1 billion contract to expand Bu Hasa, the emirate's largest onshore field.

OMV, in which Mubadala owns a 25 per cent stake, holds 36 per cent interest in chemicals firm Borealis, in which the Abu Dhabi firm has a 64 per cent interest.

Borealis and Adnoc in turn are joint investors in the UAE's biggest chemicals firm Borouge. The Abu Dhabi chemicals firm announced the beginning of construction work on its fifth polypropylene unit located at its third plant in the Ruwais facility. The scheme is set to boost polypropylene capacity by more than 25 per cent to 2.24 million tonnes per year. Polypropylene is a vital petchems product that is forms the basis of the plastics industry and sees increasing demand from consumer markets in Asia, notably India and China.

Diriyah project at a glance

- Diriyah’s 1.9km King Salman Boulevard, a Parisian Champs-Elysees-inspired avenue, is scheduled for completion in 2028
- The Royal Diriyah Opera House is expected to be completed in four years
- Diriyah’s first of 42 hotels, the Bab Samhan hotel, will open in the first quarter of 2024
- On completion in 2030, the Diriyah project is forecast to accommodate more than 100,000 people
- The $63.2 billion Diriyah project will contribute $7.2 billion to the kingdom’s GDP
- It will create more than 178,000 jobs and aims to attract more than 50 million visits a year
- About 2,000 people work for the Diriyah Company, with more than 86 per cent being Saudi citizens


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If you go

The flights

Etihad flies direct from Abu Dhabi to San Francisco from Dh5,760 return including taxes.

The car

Etihad Guest members get a 10 per cent worldwide discount when booking with Hertz, as well as earning miles on their rentals. A week's car hire costs from Dh1,500 including taxes.

The hotels

Along the route, Motel 6 ( offers good value and comfort, with rooms from $55 (Dh202) per night including taxes. In Portland, the Jupiter Hotel ( has rooms from $165 (Dh606) per night including taxes. The Society Hotel has rooms from $130 (Dh478) per night including taxes.

More info

To keep up with constant developments in Portland, visit Good guidebooks include the Lonely Planet guides to Northern California and Washington, Oregon & the Pacific Northwest.

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”


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8.50pm: Handicap Dh210,000 (D) 2,000m. Winner: Tried And True, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson.

9.25pm:Handicap Dh185,000 (D) 1,400m. Winner: Midnight Sands, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson.

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