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    Occidental Wins UAE Offshore Block


The US firm is set to invest up to $140mn in exploring the area.

by: Joe Murphy

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Middle East, Top Stories, Premium, Corporate, Exploration & Production, News By Country, United Arab Emirates

Occidental Wins UAE Offshore Block

UAE national oil company Adnoc said on December 9 it had awarded an exploration concession for onshore block 5 to US-based Occidental following a contest.

Adnoc said the award was another example of its "strategic partnerships with those who can provide technology and capabilities, capital and access to key growth markets for the company’s crude oil and products." Occidental will take a 100% interest in the concession and invest up to dirhams 514mn ($140mn) in exploration, including a participation fee.

The block spans 4,212 km2 southeast of Abu Dhabi city. Newly-acquired 3D seismic data covers a large portion of the area, which is in proximity to existing oil and gas fields, Adnoc said. In the event of a commercial discovery, Occidental has a right to a production concession to develop the find, while Adnoc has an option for a 60% interest in the project.

"Onshore Block 5 offers the potential to create significant in-country value for the UAE over the lifetime of the concession," Adnoc said.

UAE is on a major push to expand its onshore oil and gas reserves, both conventional and unconventional. Adnoc recently announced a plan to invest $122bn over the next five years to help drive upstream growth, as well as build up the company's downstream, marketing and trading capabilities.