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Royal Dutch Shell ‘Very Interested’ in Abu Dhabi Onshore Oil

November 01, 2011

(Updates with Shell comment on gas in second paragraph.)

Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc 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 Persian 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 today.

“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 Corp., Total SA, BP Plc and Partex Oil & Gas holding the rest. Abu Dhabi holds more than 90 percent of the crude in the U.A.E., which in turn contains about 7 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.

Alternative Energy

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 Ltd, 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 U.A.E.”

--Editors: Bruce Stanley, Randall Hackley

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony DiPaola in Dubai at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss on

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