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Tue 2 Nov 2010 05:18 PM

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Exxon seeks to extend Abu Dhabi oil concession

Exxon and ADNOC pump crude along with partners from fields in the Adco concession, which lapses in 2014

Exxon seeks to extend Abu Dhabi oil concession
OIL RESERVES: Abu Dhabi holds more than 90 percent of the UAE’s oil reserves.

Exxon Mobil Corp wants to extend its concession for producing oil from onshore fields in Abu Dhabi and hopes to be able to use new technology to boost output there, a company executive said on Tuesday.

Exxon Mobil and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co, a government- run producer, pump crude along with partners from fields in the Adco concession, which lapses in 2014.

Abu Dhabi is the largest sheikhdom of the UAE.

“We are working to extend our concessions, which expire shortly,” Mark Nolan, the vice president of production in the Middle East and Russia, said at a conference in Abu Dhabi. “We are really looking forward to negotiating a great future.”

Exxon Mobil wants to use proprietary seismic technology, long-reach drilling methods and techniques for capturing and processing natural gas to help raise output at deposits in the concession area. The company would prefer to operate the fields alone with Abu Dhabi National rather than through the current partnership, a change that would enable Exxon Mobil to use the new technologies without having to share them with commercial rivals.

“When you have a unique relationship, we can openly share that technology,” Nolan said. “When you’re in a competitive environment, it’s more difficult.”

Abu Dhabi National owns 60 percent of Adco, with Exxon Mobil, Total, Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Partex Oil & Gas holding the rest.

Arabian Gulf oil producers are seeking to increase capacity on expectations that demand will recover from the global economic slowdown. Saudi Arabia, the largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has expanded its output capacity to more than 12 million barrels a day, a third of which it keeps idle amid low demand. Abu Dhabi plans to boost its own production capacity to 3.5 million barrels a day by 2018 from about 2.8 million barrels.

State and international companies have partnered in Abu Dhabi to develop onshore and offshore oil and gas deposits. Abu Dhabi Co. for Onshore Oil Operations, the Abu Dhabi National unit known as Adco, is working to raise its output by 400,000 barrels a day to 1.8 million barrels a day, General Manager Abdul Munim Saif Al Kindy said in an interview October 19.

Abu Dhabi holds more than 90 percent of the UAE’s oil reserves.

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