Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 12 December 2019

As part of Asia pivot Adnoc inks agreements in South Korea

The agreements by the state-owned company are in line with a strategy to increase market share in the continent

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Adnoc Group CEO signs an agreement in Korea with Kim Young-Doo, Kogas chief executive. Courtesy Adnoc
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Adnoc Group CEO signs an agreement in Korea with Kim Young-Doo, Kogas chief executive. Courtesy Adnoc

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and South Korea, the world’s third-largest buyer of liquefied natural gas, signed agreements as the state-owned company seeks to boost its market share in Asia.

The agreements between Adnoc and the South Korean companies were signed during the official visit to Seoul by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Adnoc said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Our discussions explored domestic and international growth opportunities across a range of areas, including oil and LNG bunkering, meeting the Republic of Korea’s growing energy demands and attracting investment to our expanding upstream exploration and development operations, and our downstream and gas expansion plans,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Adnoc Group chief executive.

Adnoc signed a deal with Korea Gas Corporation (Kogas), which conducted a feasibility study on LNG bunkering in Fujairah port. Fujairah, the fourth largest emirate of the UAE, is a major regional hub for bunkering that supplies fuel to ships.

The company also signed an agreement with Korean National Oil Company, which has a 30 per cent stake in Adnoc’s Al Dhafra Petroleum and is looking to boost oil storage in South Korea by 24 million barrels until 2025. Adnoc also signed an agreement with GS Energy, an independent producer that has a 10 per cent stake in Al Dhafra Petroleum and 3 per cent holding in Adnoc Offshore.

Adnoc, which supplies 11 per cent of South Korea’s crude, is pivoting to Asia by awarding concession agreements to several countries in the region such as China and undertaking plans to build a refinery in India, where it is expanding its oil storage facilities.

Chinese energy companies have steadily increased their participation in concessions operated by Adnoc. Chinese President Xi Jinping led a delegation to the UAE in July, as the world's second-largest oil consumer is looking to diversify its import of Middle East crude.

Adnoc also awarded a Dh5.8 billion seismic survey agreement to BGP, a unit of China National Petroleum Corporation, during the July visit. The governments also signed a partnership agreement to collaborate on polymers, technology and market access.

Last year, Adnoc awarded China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Corporation, a CNPC subsidiary, an engineering, procurement and construction contract to expand production capacity at the onshore Bab field to 450,000 barrels per day from its present capacity of 420,000 bpd.

CNPC also won a 40-year rights agreements worth Dh4.3bn for concessions offshore Abu Dhabi. The Chinese state oil company company also has a 40 per cent stake in Adnoc subsidiary Al Yasat Company for Petroleum Operations, from whose concession the first batch of crude, a 50,000 bpd shipment, was loaded and shipped to China in June.

CNPC also took an 8 per cent stake in Adnoc Onshore, making China one of the largest foreign investors in the Abu Dhabi oil and gas sector.

Last year, the Abu Dhabi company signed a preliminary agreement with the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves (ISPRL) to explore the possibility of storing its crude at the company’s underground oil storage facilities in Padur. Adnoc delivered crude to be stored in another ISPRL underground facility in Mangalore last year, also in Karnataka, which will store 5.86 million barrels of Abu Dhabi oil.

The strategic reserve agreement comes after an Indian consortium made up of ONGC Videsh, Indian Oil Corporation and Bharat Petro Resources was awarded a 10 per cent interest in Abu Dhabi’s new offshore Lower Zakum concession.

India imports 8 per cent of its oil needs from the UAE, which intends to use the storage facilities to meet market demand in Asia as a whole.

In 2018, Adnoc and Saudi Aramco signed an agreement to jointly invest in a $44bn refinery on the west coast of India.

Updated: February 26, 2019 08:31 PM

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