Although the current Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) consortium will not have its term extended, it is also increasingly unlikely that ADNOC will submit its recommendation to the SPC for a new ADCO shareholding structure by the concession’s official 13 January 2014 expiry. This will leave ADNOC operating the fields until the SPC makes the decision. Current ADCO partners are ADNOC 60%, Total, BP, Shell and ExxonMobil 9.5% each and Portugal’s Partex 2%.

This would be a repeat of what happened in 2008 when the concession of the Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Company (GASCO – ADNOC 68%, Shell 15%, Total 15%, Partex 2%) to operate onshore gas fields and processing plants expired due to indecision. The contract was eventually renewed by default in March 2009 and back-dated to October 2008. The SPC’s decision to reject a one-year extension heightens the uncertainty for the existing ADCO shareholders, at the very time they are contemplating a further production capacity boost to 2mn b/d, once the current 1.8mn b/d 2018-19 target is reached, MEES learns. (CONTINUED - 1477 WORDS)