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The award by Abu Dhabi of a 5% stake in its onshore concession to Japan’s Inpex, by no means an industry giant when compared to the multinationals vying for a slice of the action, indicates a distinct political bias by the UAE in favor of its loyal crude oil customers in Asia.
For the Japanese, the reported $1.1bn cost of entry is a small price to pay for long-term secure oil supplies, while solidifying its position as a significant player in Abu Dhabi’s upstream oil sector.
The stake in the 1.6mn b/d Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Petroleum Operations (Adco) is a feather in the Inpex cap. The Japanese company, through its subsidiaries, is already a partner in Abu Dhabi’s two offshore concessions and has over the decades proved to be a silent yet reliable participant in the Opec state’s oil sector.
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