Eni strikes $1.8 billion in oil and gas deals with Abu Dhabi

Patryk Kosmider

Rome-based Eni is the fourth worldwide company to secure rights to one of Adnoc's new offshore concessions and the first to sign up for the Umm Shaif and Nasr block.

Italy's Eni is due to sign a contract with state producer Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. for two offshore oil blocks in the Arabian Gulf, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Under the terms of the agreements, Eni has been awarded a 10% interest in the Umm Shaif and Nasr concession and a 5% interest in the Lower Zakum concession.

In August, ADNOC said it would split its ADMA-OPCO offshore concession into three areas - Lower Zakum, Umm Shaif and Nasr, and Sateh Al Razboot and Umm Lulu - with new terms to unlock greater value and increase opportunities for partnerships.

Abu Dhabi plans to raise oil-output capacity to 3.5 million barrels a day by the end of the year, even as the UAE curbs production as part of a global effort to clear a glut.

During the signing of the agreement, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has been present, alongside Italy's Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

Eni joins an Indian consortium, led by ONGC Videsh, and Japan's INPEX as stakeholders in the Lower Zakum concession.

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Eni is operator with now 60% interest and other partners in the concession are BP with 10% interest and Rosneft with 30% interest.

The awards mark the first time an Italian energy company has been given concession rights in Abu Dhabi's oil and gas sector.

The deal is ADNOC's first with one of the energy majors.

ADNOC hopes to increase production at the Umm Shaif and Nasr concession to 460,000 b/d, from around 300,000 b/d now, as well as producing 500 MMcf/d of gas.

"We are pleased to be working with Mubadala and welcome them into the partnership for the Shorouk concession", said Mr Descalzi.

On Sunday, Eni said it had agreed to sell 10% of its Shorouk concession, off the Egyptian coast in the Mediterranean, to Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Petroleum for $934 million.

Eni's 40-year oil contract with Abu Dhabi will give it long-term access to crude and enable the company to expand its regional business, said Tom Quinn, a Dubai-based analyst at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. Eni produces crude and gas in Libya and oil in Iraq, in addition to its operations in Egypt, where it started producing gas from the giant offshore Zohr field in December.