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Eni SpA, Thailand's PTTEP win oil exploration rights in Abu Dhabi

Anthony DiPaola, Mahmoud Habboush & Manus Cranny |/ 12 Jan 19 | 09:52 PM

Eni SpA and Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production secured rights to explore for oil and natural gas in Abu Dhabi, committing to invest at least $230 million to assess the offshore fields.

The concession will be operated by Eni, and will be fully-owned by the Italian company and the government-owned Thai producer. Abu Dhabi National Oil will have the option of retaining 60 percent of the fields once they reach the production phase. “We are engaging with partners who actually put skin in the game," Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of government-owned Adnoc, said at a conference in Abu Dhabi.

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West Asian energy producers are among the industry’s most prolific investors in future output capacity. As global oil majors have limited their spending amid volatile swings in crude prices, state producers are investing billions of dollars to expand output and find new hydrocarbon deposits.

Despite paring its current production, the UAE. is working to build greater future capacity. Adnoc in April announced its first competitive tender for partners to explore for and develop oil and gas, offering four blocks onshore and two that are offshore. The Eni concession was the first to be awarded from that package.

Eni has made offshore discoveries from the Americas to Africa and the Mediterranean. The Rome-based company has been active in the Persian Gulf to build on its successful discoveries. It won rights to develop crude and gas deposits in Abu Dhabi last year, and it wants to partner in Qatar’s liquefied natural gas projects.

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