Abu Dhabi state firm Adnoc has been transformed over the past five years. If anything the pace has been accelerating. Many of the most ambitious reforms have been under the stewardship of CEO Sultan al-Jaber, who took up the reins in early 2016 (MEES, 19 February 2016), including a major streamlining of subsidiaries in 2017 (MEES, 20 October 2017).

Equally notable is the revolution underway in reshaping Adnoc’s partnerships with foreign oil firms. The number of such firms partnered with Adnoc in its upstream operations has soared from 12 in 2014 to 17 currently (see chart 1). Moreover, there has been a major shift in the provenance of Adnoc’s partners. While five years ago European IOCs accounted for 50% of the total, now Asian firms – not just IOCs but Indian and Chinese state firms – represent more than 50% of the expanded pool. (CONTINUED - 1930 WORDS)