Abu Dhabi awards Spanish firm stake in offshore oil concession

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) said on Sunday it has awarded Spanish Cepsa firm a 20 percent share in a concession of two offshore oil fields in a deal worth $1.5 billion.

Abu Dhabi awards Spanish firm stake in offshore oil concession
A Cepsa-owned and operated oil refinery on the Spanish Canary island of Tenerife. Photo: Desiree Martin/AFP
The 40-year deal aims to double production at the emirate's offshore fields of SARB and Umm Lulu to 215,000 barrels per day, state-owned ADNOC said in a statement.
Its subsidiary, ADNOC Offshore, will retain a 60 percent stake in the project while the remaining 20 percent will be awarded to another company, the statement said.
Cepsa, a global oil and gas company, is wholly-owned by Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company which has assets worth over $125 billion.   
“This long-term agreement is a milestone in the development of Abu Dhabi's integrated oil and gas sector and in the delivery of ADNOC's 2030 smart growth strategy,” CEO of ADNOC Sultan al-Jaber said.
Last week, ADNOC awarded a 10 percent stake in the offshore concession of Lower Zakum to an Indian consortium led by ONGC Videsh company for $600 million.
ADNOC Offshore also retained a 60 percent stake in that concession, with plans to award the remaining 30 percent to a third company. The aim is to more than double production at Lower Zakum to 450,000 bpd.
The vast majority of the United Arab Emirates' crude oil reserves are located in Abu Dhabi — capital of the Gulf emirate.
Abu Dhabi in recent years has granted concessions to ExxonMobil, Total, BP, Shell and China's CNPC, among others, as old concessions have expired.  The new concessions have been offered at nearly half the duration of the old concessions — with ADNOC taking majority stake in the projects.
The national company aims to increase the Abu Dhabi's oil production capacity from 3.2 million barrels per day to 3.5 million by the end of 2018.


Former Spanish king Juan Carlos in exile ‘in Abu Dhabi’

Juan Carlos, the former king of Spain who has gone into exile in the face of corruption allegations, has travelled to Abu Dhabi according to Spanish newspaper ABC, contradicting earlier press reports about his whereabouts.

Former Spanish king Juan Carlos in exile 'in Abu Dhabi'

Other media have singled out Portugal or the Dominican Republic as possible destinations for the former monarch who abdicated in 2014, but his exact location has yet to be pinned down.

The royal palace has refused to reveal where Juan Carlos is living, saying he will announce it himself if necessary.

Pro-monarchy newspaper ABC wrote that the 82-year-old boarded a private jet on Monday from Vigo in northwestern Spain along with one aide and four bodyguards.

Seven hours later, the plane landed at a business airport in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

According to a flight plan ABC said it had seen, the jet was registered as departing from Paris to avoid arousing suspicion.

In fact, it took off from Paris on Sunday before making a stop in Vigo to pick up Juan Carlos. The paper says he is now well shielded from paparazzi photographers in the luxurious Emirates Palace hotel, adding that high temperatures have so far kept him indoors.

But a manager at the hotel denied the former king was there, telling AFP: “We have no VIP guests.” 

Juan Carlos has long had warm relations with the Gulf monarchies, and Spanish press reports say a transfer of $100 million to one of his Swiss bank accounts from late Saudi king Abdullah has come into investigators' sights.

After abdicating over corruption allegations stemming from public statements by a former mistress, Juan Carlos announced Monday that he was quitting Spain so as not to undermine his son King Felipe VI.