Adnoc invites US energy companies to develop its unconventional hydrocarbons sector

Adnoc has upstream partnership agreements with Exxon Mobil, Occidental Petroleum and Baker Hughes

Dr Sultan Al Jaber was ranked 13th globally among chief executives for brand stewardship by Brand Finance. Christopher Pike / The National
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

The UAE is inviting co-operation in its unconventional oil and gas resources from US companies, the country's minister for industry and advanced technology said on Tuesday.

"There are great opportunities for collaboration across the energy sector and I'm sure across a variety of many other sectors," Dr Sultan Al Jaber, who is also group chief executive of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, told the opening session of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum 2021 on Tuesday evening.

"In the near term, there is room for deepening this energy cooperation around unconventional oil and gas, which we are currently progressing and discovering here in Abu Dhabi," Dr Al Jaber told the forum, which is being held online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. "It's very, very promising and will provide a very special, unique opportunity for American companies to explore such partnership opportunities with us."

Adnoc, which owns most of the oil and gas concessions in the UAE, has upstream partnership agreements with a number of US companies, including Exxon Mobil, Occidental Petroleum and Baker Hughes.

The UAE, which accounts for 4.2 per cent of global output for crude, has been looking to exploit its unconventional resources of oil and gas, and has relied on experienced operators from the US shale basins to help extract conventional hydrocarbons.

Last month, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company awarded Occidental Petroleum onshore exploration rights in a Dh514 million ($140m) contract. The 35-year concession for onshore Block 5 was the first Adnoc awarded following the successful completion of its second bid round.

In November, the UAE's Supreme Petroleum Council also announced substantial recoverable unconventional oil resources onshore, estimated at 22 billion barrels. It also revealed a 2 billion barrel increase in conventional oil reserves, which maintains the UAE's position as the world's sixth-largest holder of oil reserves. The country accounts for 5.6 per cent of the world's proven oil reserves.

Adnoc also signed an agreement with Exxon Mobil's local subsidiary last year, to explore research and development opportunities across the upstream sector.

Energy services firm Baker Hughes moved the headquarters for its surface pressure control projects arm to Abu Dhabi from Houston, Texas, in November.

The move followed the company's decision to open a wellheads facility in Abu Dhabi in 2019.