Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) headquarters. Courtesy Adnoc
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) is receiving strong interest from Chinese energy firms for onshore and offshore oil and gas concessions being offered in a competitive bidding proccess in the emShow more

China expresses strong interest in Abu Dhabi oil and gas concessions



Abu Dhabi National Oil Company has received strong interest from Chinese energy firms for onshore and offshore oil and gas concessions being offered in the first-ever round of competitive bidding proposed as part of its new partnership model.

“During the roadshows following our block bids announcement, it was reassuring to see a high number of delegates from China, demonstrating a great interest in this partnership and investment opportunity in Abu Dhabi,” Tayba Al Hashemi, acting chief executive of Adnoc unit Al Yasat Petroleum told the inaugural Abu Dhabi Global Market’s Belt-and-Road financial forum in Beijing.

“The blocks bid approach is different and new to Adnoc. [But] it is a win-win for our partners as the successful bidders will gain the right to explore … partners will have the opportunity alongside Adnoc to benefit from any discoveries…. and grow with us.”

In April, Abu Dhabi, home to about 6 per cent of the world’s proven oil reserves, launched the competitive bidding for oil and gas blocks, as it looks to engage new partners across various segments of its energy value chain. The successful bidders will get the exploration rights and could be invited to develop and produce any discoveries from the blocks, which contain billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas, Adnoc said at the time.

Bids for four onshore and two offshore blocks, spanning a combined area of 30,000 square kilometres, are due by October and the first bidding round is expected to conclude this year.

Abu Dhabi has a five-year spending programme of $109bn approved last year for exploration of its sour gas reserves as well as development of refining and chemicals projects at home and abroad. Adnoc will look to engage partners, particularly  those currently involved in upstream projects to help double its refining and triple its petrochemicals capacity by 2025.

Ms Hashemi, who in April took charge of Al Yasat, Adnoc’s first joint venture with state-controlled China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), said Adnoc values partnerships that gives it the access to technology, markets and capital and offer long term investment opportunities with attractive and stable returns to its partners.

China, she said, always had an important role in this strategy.

CNPC in March picked up two stakes worth Dh4.3bn in offshore fields from Adnoc’s erstwhile Adma-Opco concessions, in which Abu Dhabi awarded stakes to players from its consuming markets such as India with the Abu Dhabi firm retaining a 60 per cent interest.

PetroChina, which is majority-owned by CNPC, was awarded a 10 per cent interest both in Umm Shaif and Nasr as well as the Lower Zakum offshore concessions. PetroChina, China’s biggest oil producer with concessions in Iraq, paid a participating fee of Dh2.1bn to enter Umm Shaif and Nasr and Dh2.2bn for offshore Lower Zakum, Adnoc said at the time.

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These awards, she said, are further expanding the company’s partnership with China’s oil and gas firms, and helping Adnoc enhance its ability to get greater returns from its hydrocarbon assets.

Previous partnerships are bearing fruits now and Al Yasat Petroleum, which was formed in 2014 and oversees production from two concession areas in Abu Dhabi, has already started production.

“Just a month ago, we produced the first oil from Yasat field and first oil shipment to China in few days,” she said without giving further details of the field’s current production capacity.

China is the world's biggest oil importer, with its crude consumption set to rise 4.6 per cent year-on-year to 12.05 million barrels per day this year, according to estimates by CNPC’s research division. Consumption of refined products such as plastics and compounds, which are vital for Chinese growth and development of its expanding middle class, is forecast to grow about 31 per cent year-on-year to 47.8 million tonnes in 2018.

The next round of growth and partnerships with Adnoc, she said, will come in the downstream sector, as Adnoc makes significant investment over the next year to expand its downstream footprint. The company is set to announce its downstream strategy at a global forum of chief executives on Sunday.

Chinese firms have expressed significant interest in the unveiling of “significant co-investment opportunities” at the event, said Ms Al Hashemi.

“It is reassuring to see high interest and large number of registrations [for the event] from China, ranging from oil and gas to the banking sectors,” she added.

At the heart of the downstream ambitions is the Ruwais refining and petrochemicals complex which Adnoc wants to transform into the world’s largest integrated refining and chemicals site by 2025 -- doubling its refining capacity and trebling its chemicals production.

“As global demand for energy continues to rise, it is down to smart investments and partnerships to harness the opportunities ahead of us and unlock value in our resources,” she said. “China and Abu Dhabi have a mutual interest in ensuring a stable and secure supply of oil and gas.”

FIXTURES

Thu Mar 15 – West Indies v Afghanistan, UAE v Scotland
Fri Mar 16 – Ireland v Zimbabwe
Sun Mar 18 – Ireland v Scotland
Mon Mar 19 – West Indies v Zimbabwe
Tue Mar 20 – UAE v Afghanistan
Wed Mar 21 – West Indies v Scotland
Thu Mar 22 – UAE v Zimbabwe
Fri Mar 23 – Ireland v Afghanistan

The top two teams qualify for the World Cup

Classification matches
The top-placed side out of Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong or Nepal will be granted one-day international status. UAE and Scotland have already won ODI status, having qualified for the Super Six.

Thu Mar 15 – Netherlands v Hong Kong, PNG v Nepal
Sat Mar 17 – 7th-8th place playoff, 9th-10th place playoff

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Director: S Shankar

Producer: Lyca Productions; presented by Dharma Films

Cast: Rajnikanth, Akshay Kumar, Amy Jackson, Sudhanshu Pandey

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Teachers' pay - what you need to know

Pay varies significantly depending on the school, its rating and the curriculum. Here's a rough guide as of January 2021:

- top end schools tend to pay Dh16,000-17,000 a month - plus a monthly housing allowance of up to Dh6,000. These tend to be British curriculum schools rated 'outstanding' or 'very good', followed by American schools

- average salary across curriculums and skill levels is about Dh10,000, recruiters say

- it is becoming more common for schools to provide accommodation, sometimes in an apartment block with other teachers, rather than hand teachers a cash housing allowance

- some strong performing schools have cut back on salaries since the pandemic began, sometimes offering Dh16,000 including the housing allowance, which reflects the slump in rental costs, and sheer demand for jobs

- maths and science teachers are most in demand and some schools will pay up to Dh3,000 more than other teachers in recognition of their technical skills

- at the other end of the market, teachers in some Indian schools, where fees are lower and competition among applicants is intense, can be paid as low as Dh3,000 per month

- in Indian schools, it has also become common for teachers to share residential accommodation, living in a block with colleagues

Defending champions

World Series: South Africa
Women’s World Series: Australia
Gulf Men’s League: Dubai Exiles
Gulf Men’s Social: Mediclinic Barrelhouse Warriors
Gulf Vets: Jebel Ali Dragons Veterans
Gulf Women: Dubai Sports City Eagles
Gulf Under 19: British School Al Khubairat
Gulf Under 19 Girls: Dubai Exiles
UAE National Schools: Al Safa School
International Invitational: Speranza 22
International Vets: Joining Jack

McLaren GT specs

Engine: 4-litre twin-turbo V8

Transmission: seven-speed

Power: 620bhp

Torque: 630Nm

Price: Dh875,000

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Euro 2020 qualifier

Ukraine 2 (Yaremchuk 06', Yarmolenko 27')

Portugal 1 (Ronaldo 72' pen)

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures


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