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Abu Dhabi takes on production as oil majors deal ends

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Abu Dhabi will take over operations at its onshore oilfields on Friday after a 75-year-old international concession comes to an end, an official statement said.

The announcement was made on Wednesday at a ceremony in which Abu Dhabi National Oil Co Director General Nasser Abdullah al-Suwaidi signed the "closeout" agreement to end the concession rights with five international oil majors that was inked on January 11, 1939, an ADNOC statement said.

ADNOC had a 60 percent stake in the concession with British Petroleum, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Total and Partex Oil and Gas through the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations(ADCO).

"ADCO will continue to operate the concession areas on behalf of ADNOC," Suwaidi was quoted as saying in the statement.

ADCO, which accounts for more than half of the emirate's oil production, will continue to operate the concession areas until ADNOC has processed bids by international companies for a new concession.

Industry sources expect the process to be completed in 2015.

Al-Ittihad newspaper reported on Thursday that the new concession will be for 40 years.

The UAE, OPEC's fourth largest supplier, is one of the last few nations that have such agreements with international oil majors.

Al-Ittihad also reported that all ADCO assets, estimated at $40 billion, will return to ADNOC.

UAE Energy Minister Suheil al-Mazrouei said in October that his country was on track to raise its crude oil production to 3.5 million barrels per day by 2017.

Current output is estimated at around 2.9 million bpd.

More than 90 percent of the estimated 100 billion barrels of UAE reserves are concentrated in Abu Dhabi, the largest emirate in the seven-member federation.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140109/abu-dhabi-takes-production-oil-majors-deal-ends