Mubadala Petroleum has sold its stake in an oilfield-services joint venture in a bid to grow the private energy sector.
The unit of Mubadala Development, the government-owned strategic investment company, offloaded its 51 per cent stake in Petrofac Emirates for an undisclosed amount to Nama Project Services, a local company. Petrofac in turn has bought half of Nama's share, upping its share in the joint venture to 75 per cent.
"Having nurtured and matured the business into a stable and profitable venture, Mubadala Petroleum's interest is now being transferred to the UAE's private sector, in line with Mubadala's strategic objectives and mandate," said Maurizio La Noce, the chief executive of Mubadala Petroleum.
"Mubadala Petroleum will concentrate on its core international E&P (exploration and production) business, and most important UAE gas supply projects.
"In this context, we will continue to support the Abu Dhabi-based Petrofac Emirates business and will look at opportunities to leverage on our existing and strong relationship with Petrofac International to identify mutually beneficial opportunities aligned with our ambitious growth objectives in our core geographies."
The move comes after other efforts to grow a more independent oil and gas sector, starting with the transformation of Mubadala Oil and Gas, a business unit of Mubadala Development, into a company called Mubadala Petroleum last year.
Since 2008 when Mubadala and Petrofac established Petrofac Emirates to serve the local market, the company has grown to employ 700 people. This year it won a series of major contracts, including a US$2.9 billion procurement, construction and commissioning package at the offshore Upper Zakum field and a $500 million engineering and construction contract to expand the onshore Bab field's gas compression facilities. Petrofac shares inched up by four pence to 1,278p in London yesterday.
"The joint venture has created business opportunities and established strong relationships over the last five years, in addition to helping Petrofac to expand our local talent pool by attracting UAE nationals to join our talented team," said Marwan Chedid,Petrofac's chief executive for engineering, construction, operations and maintenance. "Looking forward, we want to build on the success we have achieved to date, including the important projects we have secured in Abu Dhabi this year."
Last week Mubadala also offloaded a 30 per cent stake in an Indonesian concession near Natuna Island to Japan Petroleum Exploration for an undisclosed amount.
Nama Project Services is part of Nama Development Enterprises, a 20-year-old project developer in Abu Dhabi. The sale of Mubadala's stake to Nama is pending regulatory approval.