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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 15 November 2018

Adnoc to explore long-term refined products supply to Japan

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, chief executive of the state oil company is set for meetings with SoftBank as well as Japanese energy firms

Workers at Adnoc joint venture Borouge, the UAE's biggest chemicals facility. Victor Besa / The National
Workers at Adnoc joint venture Borouge, the UAE's biggest chemicals facility. Victor Besa / The National

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company is exploring long-term supply of hydrocarbon products to Japan and investment opportunities in the upstream and downstream segments, the company said on Wednesday.

“As we accelerate our focus on the increasing energy needs of Asian economies, such as Japan, Adnoc is introducing new partnership and investment opportunities across our integrated upstream and downstream operations,” Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Adnoc Group chief executive and Minister of State said in a statement during a visit to the country.

“At the same time, as a trusted and reliable supplier of energy, we wish to explore opportunities to increase market access and offer a larger share of Adnoc’s portfolio of products to existing and new customers in Japan.”

Abu Dhabi, which accounts for 4.2 per cent of the world’s oil production, is the second biggest exporter of oil to Japan, the world’s third largest economy.

The country is one of Adnoc’s oldest energy partners and has operated concessions offshore Abu Dhabi since the 70s. It imported Dh57.3 billion worth of crude from the UAE last year alone, according to Japan External Trade Organisation.

Dr Al Jaber, who concluded a meeting with Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko, is set to meet with Masayoshi Son, the chairman of SoftBank. The company manages the world’s largest technology fund valued at $100bn.

He will also meet the chairman of Japanese oil explorers Inpex and Jodco, which have stakes in Abu Dhabi concessions. Other officials lined up for meetings are the president and chief executive of Japanese energy and engineering company Mitsui as well as the chairman of Jera, the world’s biggest buyer of liquefied natural gas.

Japanese companies won extensions of their existing hydrocarbon rights contracts for offshore Abu Dhabi this year as well as new awards, when Adnoc split its earlier Adma-Opco concessions, while retaining a 60 per cent stake.

In February, Inpex picked up a 10 per cent stake in the offshore Lower Zakum concession, while Adnoc renewed its existing 40 per cent stakes held in the Satah and Umm Al Dalkh concessions for 25 years. Adnoc later appointed Jodco Lower Zakum Limited, a subsidiary of Inpex, as the asset lead on Lower Zakum.

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A third of Adnoc’s crude is exported to Japan, as well as LNG, of which the country is the world’s biggest consumer. Japan also imports refined products such as liquefied petroleum gas and naphtha, as well as sulphur which is a common hydrocarbons by-product from Abu Dhabi’s sour gas fields.

Japanese companies Mitsui as well as Cosmo Oil also operate stakes in Adnoc LNG as well as concessions offshore Abu Dhabi, respectively.

Adnoc, which plans to invest $45bn with partners into refining and chemicals segment over the next five years, recently hosted a Chinese delegation led by President Xi Jinping to explore long-term partnerships in the sector.