Chinese firms grab 12% stake in Abu Dhabi oil project

February 21, 2017 15:14
PetroChina's parent, China National Petroleum Corp, is among the winners of stakes in Abu Dhabi's largest oil concession. Photo: Bloomberg

Chinese firms have emerged as big winners in the contest among foreign bidders for stakes in Abu Dhabi's largest oil concession, grabbing a combined 12 percent of the venture.

Bloomberg reports that Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. the UAE's main state oil firm, announced Monday that it has awarded 4 percent stake in a mega onshore venture to CEFC China Energy Co. (CEFC).

For the deal, CEFC, which is based in Shanghai, is said to be paying US$888 million signing bonus.

The stake deal came just a day after another Chinese company, China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), was granted 8 percent of the same oil concession for US$1.8 billion.

The dual awards mark China's debut as a major shareholder in the biggest oilfield operator in the United Arab Emirates, the report noted.

Together, the stakes held by CNPC and CEFC exceed the 10 percent shares that global energy giants BP and Total own in the venture.

BP signed on to the Abu Dhabi project in December, while Total did so in January 2015, according to the report.

"You can see the attraction for Abu Dhabi and for China on both sides of this deal," Richard Mallinson, an analyst with Energy Aspects Ltd. in London, told Bloomberg.

"In China, Abu Dhabi sees a huge and growing importer. China's gone to great lengths to establish supply footholds, so there's a real benefit in tapping large and stable reserves."

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