A brighter and more dynamic future for Adnoc
The national oil company's AA+ rating is a boost for Abu Dhabi and inspires confidence
In the summer of 2017, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) concluded a root and branch review of its strategies and performance that had lasted more than a year. The review showed that Adnoc needed to adopt more creative strategies and flexible business models to secure growth. These measures were necessary because of shifting global trends, such as rising oil demand in Asia and volatile prices. The changed energy landscape required new rules of engagement to be drawn up. Adnoc’s subsequent moves have included the first ever initial public offering of one of its subsidiaries, the competitive tendering of new exploration blocks, the use of fracking at its onshore fields, the push towards gas self-sufficiency, the launch of a $45 billion downstream investment initiative and the comprehensive digitisation of its operations.
On Tuesday, Fitch Ratings assigned Adnoc the highest possible assessment of creditworthiness for an oil and gas company. This standalone AA+ rating recognises, in the words of Adnoc chief executive Dr Sultan Al Jaber, the company’s successful transformation “under the wise guidance of the UAE’s leadership, and the hard work and dedication of our employees”. Going forward, Fitch, one of the world’s leading credit rating agencies, will constantly check how the Adnoc performs, updating its assessment at least once a year.
This increased transparency will support Adnoc’s efforts to expand its partnerships, including those with large trading houses, international pension funds, private equity investors and global infrastructure specialists. This wide-ranging group of concerns from outside the oil and gas sector will appreciate the clarity that a credit rating brings. National oil companies in the region do not typically take this path, but by submitting itself to the rating process, Adnoc took exactly the same steps as international energy firms such as Shell, BP and Total. Fitch’s assessment validates the “bold ambitions” that Adnoc has set for itself and provides a roadmap for other entities in the UAE, and the wider region, that also wish to embrace a sharper commercial focus and performance-led culture as they head into the future.
Updated: February 19, 2019 06:58 PM