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ADNOC awards offshore exploration rights to Pakistani consortium for first time

Highlights

Four Pakistani companies win exploration rights for Offshore Block 5

PPL-led consortium to invest as much as $304.7 mil in block

Award concludes ADNOC's second bid round

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. awarded exploration rights for Offshore Block 5 to a consortium of four Pakistani companies, the first time the UAE's biggest energy producer granted a concession to firms from the Asian country.

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Pakistan Petroleum Ltd. (PPL) is leading the consortium that also includes Mari Petroleum Co. Ltd., Oil and Gas Development Co. Ltd. and Government Holdings (Private) Ltd. which were awarded the contract in ADNOC's second competitive block bid round, ADNOC said in an Aug. 31 statement. PPL accounts for around 20% of Pakistan's total natural gas supplies and produces crude oil, NGLs and LPG, according to its website.

The award "underscores ADNOC's expanded approach to strategic partnerships, including those who can provide access to key growth markets for the company's crude oil and products," the company said.

"Under the terms of the agreement, the consortium will hold a 100% stake in the exploration phase, investing up to $304.7 million towards exploration and appraisal drilling, including a participation fee, to explore for and appraise oil and gas opportunities in the block that covers an offshore area of 6,223 square kilometers and is located 100 kilometers northeast of Abu Dhabi city," it added.

`Promising potential'

ADNOC, which launched the second bid round in 2019, is boosting both exploration and production as part of plans to hit an oil production capacity of 5 million b/d by 2030, up from about 4 million b/d now.

It is partnering with a number of international oil companies and increasingly Asian firms in exploration and production.

After commercial discovery, the PPL-led consortium will have the right to a production concession to develop and produce from the asset, with ADNOC having the option to hold a 60% stake in the production phase, which will have a 35-year term from the start of the exploration phase.

"In addition to drilling exploration and appraisal wells, the exploration phase will see the consortium leverage and contribute financially and technically to ADNOC's mega seismic survey, which is acquiring 3D seismic data within the block area," the company said. "The data already acquired over a large part of the block combined with its proximity to existing oil and gas fields, suggests the concession area has promising potential."

The award to the PPL-led consortium concludes ADNOC's second bid round for onshore and offshore blocks.

Unconventional block

Other winners in the second round include Cosmo Energy Holdings Co., which won Offshore Block 4; Eni and PTT Exploration and Production Public Co. Ltd. which won Offshore Block 3; and Occidental, which won Onshore Block 5.

"Based on existing data from detailed petroleum system studies, seismic surveys, exploration, and appraisal wells data, estimates suggest the blocks in this second bid round hold multiple billion barrels of oil and multiple trillion cubic feet of natural gas," ADNOC said.

Following ADNOC's recent discoveries of 22 billion stock tank barrels (STB) of recoverable unconventional oil resources and 160 T cf of recoverable unconventional gas resources, it has decided not to award an exploration license for Onshore Block 2 in the second bid round, according to the statement.

"ADNOC intends to engage with potential partners for unconventional resource licensing opportunities around this geographical area," the company said. "This area contains some of the unconventional resources discovered that have production potential ranking alongside the most prolific North American shale oil plays."