UPDATE 1-UAE to take oilfields control from Western majors

Wednesday, 8 Jan 2014 | 11:26 AM ET

DUBAI, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) will take full control of the ADCO oil concession when the decades-old partnerships with some of the world's biggest oil companies ends in a few days' time, the state oil company said on Wednesday.

ADNOC currently holds a 60 percent controlling stake in ADCO, while ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Total and BP each hold 9.5 percent stakes.

After Jan. 11, ADNOC will take 100 percent of the interests in the concession, in what is seen by many industry observers as a temporary measure while Abu Dhabi decides whether to allow its biggest Asian oil customers to get involved.

"All of the shareholdings of the foreign partners will go back to ADNOC," a spokesman for ADNOC said.

The western oil majors are among the bidders for the right to help ADNOC run the fields for decades to come, but they are facing competition from Asian companies who are keen to take equity in fields that mostly supply oil to Asia.

Abu Dhabi has not yet decided whether to keep the western companies that have detailed technical knowledge of the fields, or allow in Asian oil customers eager to secure equity stakes.

But while it deliberates over who will help run the fields in the long term, ADNOC will run them alone.

Abu Dhabi signed the 75-year agreements with western oil companies in January 1939. The government acquired a 60-percent share in the early 1970s and the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations was formed in 1978.

Collectively the ADCO fields produce around 1.5 million barrels a day (bpd), with most of the output coming from five fields: Asab, Bab, Bu Hasa, Sahil and Shah.

All fields are linked to the storage and shipping facilities located at Jabel Dhana, where tankers load Murban crude for export.

ExxonMobil, Shell, Total and BP - currently receive equity share of Murban from the fields. ADNOC has decided to sell these volumes through one-year term contracts with the oil majors while the OPEC producer decides next year which companies will become its partners in the ADCO concession.

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