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Tue 5 Oct 2010 05:45 PM

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Abu Dhabi's National Petroleum eyes Africa, Asia deals

'Billions are being invested... and we want a share,' says CEO of state-held company

Abu Dhabi's National Petroleum eyes Africa, Asia deals
National Petroleum is poised to hear whether it has won three Indian contracts worth $400m

National Petroleum Construction Co, an Abu Dhabi government-controlled oil-services company, will hire a management consultant this month to help it look for opportunities in West Africa and Central Asia.

“We are looking at Nigeria, Ghana and Angola in West Africa, and Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan in Central Asia,” chief executive officer Aqeel Madhi said in an interview in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. “Billions are being invested in those areas, and we want a share. We would like to establish a shipyard and service the local market.”

National Petroleum is joining Abu Dhabi’s other state-run companies in considering expansion as the city increases its presence abroad. Mubadala Development Co and International Petroleum Investment Co have spent the oil-rich emirate’s energy revenue on overseas assets ranging from stakes in General Electric Co to shares in exploration projects and refineries.

The new anchor-handling vessel, built in China, is the first of a $400m fleet expansion that is being undertaken by National Petroleum’s new marine division headed by Ahmed al-Ateeqi, the company said in a statement. A second vessel will arrive from China in March, where a barge will also be completed in July 2012.

The company is building a jack-up vessel at its own yard in Abu Dhabi, which will be ready by the end of 2011.

The company expects to hear imminently whether it won three contracts in India worth around $400m altogether, Madhi said. National Petroleum is also bidding for the Wasit gas project in Saudi Arabia, valued at more than $1bn, and a job in Qatar for Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Co, he said.

This year National Petroleum won a $350m contract from Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Co, a unit of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co, or Adnoc, which plans to raise output by 30 percent to 750,000 barrels a day. It also won two contracts valued at $1.2bn from Adnoc’s Abu Dhabi Co. for Onshore Oil Operations, which plans to increase crude production to 1.8 million barrels a day in 2017 from 1.4 million.

General Holding Corp, a company owned by the Abu Dhabi government, holds 70 percent of National Petroleum, while Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Co has 30 percent. General Holding is chaired by Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, managing director of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds.

Abu Dhabi holds most of the oil and gas reserves in the United Arab Emirates, the third-largest member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

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