Abu Dhabi to combine two offshore units amid price drop

By Mahmoud Habboush on 10/4/2016

ABU DHABI (Bloomberg) -- Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. will combine two offshore oil and natural gas ventures operated with partners including BP and Exxon Mobil, as the U.A.E. producer takes measures to cope with the drop in oil prices over the past two years.

Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Co., known as Adma-Opco, and Zakum Development Co., known as Zadco, will be jointly led by Yasser Al Mazrouei, who currently serves as Adma-Opco’s CEO, Adnoc said in a statement Tuesday. The process will be completed by early 2018 and will be overseen by a committee with members from Adnoc and concession-holders including Total, BP and Exxon Mobil. Zadco’s CEO Saif Al Suwaidi will retire, an Adnoc official said.

“The existing concession rights of our partners in the concessions currently operated by Adma-Opco and Zadco will not be affected by the consolidation,” Sultan Al Jaber, United Arab Emirates Minister of State and Adnoc CEO, said in the statement. “Looking ahead, Adnoc will continue to review and consider all options, and pursue partners for concessions expiring in 2018.”

U.A.E. Production

Abu Dhabi, holder of about 6% of global oil reserves, is reining in spending as the decline in oil prices slows economic growth and plans to cut costs by combining its two biggest banks and merging two of its largest sovereign investment funds, International Petroleum Investment Co. and Mubadala Development Company PJSC. The U.A.E. is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries which agreed during a meeting in Algiers last week to trim supply for the first time in eight years.

Adnoc owns 60% of Adma-Opco with the rest being shared between BP, Japan Oil Development Co. Ltd., or Jodco, and Total. Adnoc’s partners in Zadco are Exxon Mobil and Jodco. Adnoc will work with its partners to “maximize” oil output, according to the statement. The new entity is due to “yield significant financial and operational benefits,” the company said.

Since taking over as CEO earlier this year, Al Jaber has appointed new top managers at Adnoc and its operating companies. Adnoc employs between 50,000 to 55,000 people and has at least 18 subsidiaries, the Adnoc official said. The Adma-Opco and Zadco ventures together have about 9,000 employees, he said.

The United Arab Emirates, of which Abu Dhabi is the capital, plans to boost crude output capacity to 3.5 MMbpd. The U.A.E. pumped about 3.03 MMbopd in August, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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