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Russia, UAE sign new energy cooperation agreements

Moscow — Abu Dhabi National Oil Company said Tuesday that it has agreed to sell a stake in the Ghasha gas project to Lukoil, and also signed a strategic framework agreement with Gazprom Neft on upstream, downstream and technology cooperation.

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The agreements were signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to the UAE. The two countries have increased bilateral energy talks in recent years, alongside their cooperation in the OPEC+ crude production cut agreement. They are both also members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.

The Russian and UAE energy ministries also signed a memorandum of understanding during the visit, which envisages creating a working group on energy that will develop concrete proposals for joint energy projects.

Russian energy minister Alexander Novak said that promising areas for cooperation between Russia and the UAE include LNG, nuclear and electric power, according to a ministry statement.


ADNOC awarded Lukoil a 5% share in the Ghasha concession, which includes the Hail, Ghasha, Dalma and other sour gas fields offshore Abu Dhabi. It is the first time that a Russian company has joined an ADNOC concession.

Lukoil will initially invest Dirhams 697.3 million ($190 million) as a signing fee in the project, which is expected to produce over 1.5 Bcf/d of gas by 2025. ADNOC said it also plans to produce over 120,000 b/d of oil and condensate at theproject.

ADNOC maintains a majority stake in the concession, which also involves Italy's Eni, Germany's Wintershall Dea, and Austria's OMV.

"The transaction is consistent with ADNOC's targeted approach to engage with strategic partners that contribute the right combination of best-in-class expertise and advanced technology, market access or capital to unlock maximum value fromAbu Dhabi's resources for our mutual benefit, while delivering the greatest possible returns to the UAE," ADNOC CEO and UAE Minister of State Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber said.

ADNOC's integrated gas strategy will see the development, in phases, of Abu Dhabi's substantial gas reserves, as the UAE moves towards gas self-sufficiency and aims to transition from a net importer of gas to a potential net exporter of gas.

The project will be Lukoil's first project in the UAE.

"Lukoil has extensive experience in offshore fields, both independently and in consortia with other major international companies. We are pleased to enter the project in the UAE with such a significant resource base and with suchexperienced partners. Joining this project is fully consistent with our strategy," CEO Vagit Alekperov said.

ADNOC, Lukoil and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) also signed a framework agreement to explore potential future cooperation in relation to the Ghasha concession.

The deals were signed on the sidelines of a meeting between Putin and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed on Tuesday.

"The concession award, as well as the framework agreement, reflect the strong and strategic bilateral ties between the UAE and Russia and highlight the important role of energy cooperation in strengthening the relations between our two countries," Jaber said.


ADNOC also signed a strategic framework agreement with Gazprom Neft on upstream, downstream and technology cooperation Tuesday.

ADNOC said that areas for potential collaboration include Abu Dhabi's exploration and production concessions, sour gas, enhanced oil recovery and new technology including artificial intelligence.

Jaber said: "The strategic agreement offers the potential for exciting new opportunities for both companies, in the upstream and downstream sectors, as well as in artificial intelligence and sour gas where ADNOC has vast untapped reserves. It is our firm hope that we can convert this framework agreement into a new, mutually beneficial partnership that will create long-term and sustainable value."

Gazprom Neft previously established a joint venture with Mubadala to develop fields in the Omsk and Tomsk regions of Russia, and is looking to expand this cooperation to projects in the Middle East.

RDIF said that it also signed a series of agreements across various sectors with Mubadala during the visit Tuesday, including on possible joint investment into NefteTransService, one of Russia's leading oil products suppliers by rail.

The energy ministry said that Rosatom signed an MOU with the UAE Atomic Energy Corporation on cooperation on nuclear energy.

-- Rosemary Griffin,

-- Edited by Alisdair Bowles,