Occidental Petroleum appears to have had a change of heart with regard to its exposure to the Middle East. Having tried, but failed, to sell some of its Middle Eastern assets last year, the US mini-major appears serious about securing a stake in the UAE’s 1.6mn b/d onshore concession.

Oxy sprang a surprise last month when it signed an agreement with the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) for the study of two offshore fields, a deal that was concluded after direct negotiations between the two sides (MEES, 13 February). Oxy’s CEO Stephen Chazen has in recent months reportedly made several visits to the UAE capital, where the company is developing the complex Shah sour gas field and has a stake in the Dolphin Energy joint venture that pipes natural gas from Qatar to the UAE and Oman. (CONTINUED - 1849 WORDS)