Japan's Inpex wins 5-percent stake in oil fields in UAE's Abu Dhabi emirate, joining Total



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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Japan's Inpex Corp. on Monday won a stake in the development of major oil fields in the oil-rich emirate of Abu Dhabi, deepening the Asian nation's ties to the United Arab Emirates federation.

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. said the deal gives Inpex's Japan Oil Development Co. Ltd. Division a 5-percent stake in the onshore concession operated by the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Petroleum Operations, also known as ADCO.

The agreement, which is valid from the start of this year, is good for 40 years. Neither company provided financial terms for the deal.

Inpex President and CEO Toshiaki Kitamura said the company's winning bid likely reflects its track record in Abu Dhabi over many years. The company last year won a 15-year extension on its concession for the emirate's Upper Zakum offshore oil field, which it has been developing since 1978.

"This new acquisition in Abu Dhabi ... is highly significant in terms of the company's growth strategies and also largely contributes to the long-term, stable supply of energy to Japan," Kitamura said in a statement.

Monday's agreement will put Inpex in partnership with French oil giant Total SA, which won rights to 10 percent of the ADCO project earlier this year. That deal followed the expiration of previous development rights involving Total and others last year.

The project includes 15 oil fields in Abu Dhabi, the capital and largest of the seven emirates in the UAE and the holder of the bulk of the OPEC nation's oil wealth. Eleven of the fields are currently in operation, while the rest are undeveloped.

ADNOC hopes to raise production from the fields to 1.8 million barrels per day by 2017, up from 1.6 million barrels daily now.

Japan is the world's third-largest petroleum consumer, after the United States and China, burning about 4.3 million barrels a day last year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. It relies on imports — mainly from Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and other Middle Eastern nations — for almost all of its supply.


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