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Mon 31 Oct 2011 02:01 PM

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Shell ‘very interested’ in Abu Dhabi onshore oil

Decision about renewing Shell’s holding is in the hands of oil firm Adnoc

Shell ‘very interested’ in Abu Dhabi onshore oil
Shell has a stake in Adnoc’s onshore unit, Abu Dhabi Co for Onshore Oil Operations, until 2014

Royal Dutch Shell is “very interested” in keeping its stake
in an onshore oil partnership in Abu Dhabi after the rights expire in 2014, the
company’s country chairman in the Gulf emirate said.

A decision about renewing Shell’s holding is in the hands of
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co, known as Adnoc, and the emirate’s Supreme Petroleum
Council, which decides oil policy for the capital of the United Arab Emirates,
John Barry said.

Shell also wants to help produce new natural-gas resources
in Abu Dhabi to help meet tightening domestic demand for the fuel, he said Monday.

“Shell will put all its cards on the table,” he said at a
conference in Abu Dhabi.

Shell has a stake in Adnoc’s onshore unit, Abu Dhabi Co for
Onshore Oil Operations, until 2014. Adnoc owns 60 percent of the unit, with
Shell, Exxon Mobil, Total, BP and Partex Oil & Gas holding the rest. Abu
Dhabi holds more than 90 percent of the crude in the UAE, which in turn
contains about seven percent of the world’s proven oil reserves, according to
BP.

Partex is in discussions about renewing its stake in the
partnership, said Antonio Costa Silva, chairman of the company’s management
commission. The current arrangement has been a success, and “keeping that
balance in mind is very wise,” he said in Abu Dhabi.

Partex may also partner with Abu Dhabi on solar and wind-
power projects in the emirate, Europe or elsewhere, Silva said.

Barry said Shell’s focus in Abu Dhabi until now has been on
renewing oil rights and in maintaining its 15 percent stake in Abu Dhabi Gas
Industries, known as Gasco, which is developing the sheikhdom’s onshore gas
reserves. Adnoc owns 68 percent of Gasco, with Total and Partex owning the
remainder.

Shell wants now to contribute technology to help Abu Dhabi
find and develop gas to help resolve what Barry called a “crisis” in domestic
gas supply.

“There’s the paradox that economic success gives rise to a
gas shortage,” he said, noting Abu Dhabi’s rising needs for gas to generate
power and supply industries. “We are looking at where we can work in Abu Dhabi
and more widely in the UAE.”

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