Abu Dhabi: India and the UAE today signed a concessional agreement awarding a consortium of Indian oil companies, led by the ONGC, a 10 percent stake in Abu Dhabi's offshore oil concession, the first such deal for the Indian oil and gas companies in the Gulf nation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces witnessed the signing of the historic agreement.
The MoU between Indian Consortium (OVL, BPRL & IOCL) and state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) was signed for the acquisition of 10 percent participating interest in the offshore Lower Zakum Concession.
The concession will be for 40 years from 2018 to 2057. Sixty percent of the participating interest will be retained by ADNOC and remaining 30 percent will be awarded to other international oil companies.
This is the first Indian investment in the upstream oil sector of the UAE, transforming the traditional buyer-seller relationship to a long-term investor relationship. Lower Zakum is one of three new separate concession areas that make up the former ADMA offshore concession, namely Lower Zakum, Umm Shaif and Nasr and Sateh Al Razboot (SARB) and Umm Lulu.
Speaking at the signing of the agreement, Prime Minister Modi said, "The offshore concession in favour of the Indian consortium has taken our bilateral engagement in the oil and gas sector to a new level, which befits the comprehensive strategic partnership between our two countries."
"I am happy to note that we have progressed from a buyer-seller relationship to an era of mutual investments in the oil and gas sector," he said.
The consortium, led by India's ONGC Videsh, contributed a participation fee of AED 2.2 billion ($600 million) to enter the concession.
The concession will be operated by ADNOC Offshore, a subsidiary of ADNOC, on behalf of all concession partners.
The agreement, which has a term of 40 years and an effective date of March 9, 2018, was signed by Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, ADNOC Group Chief Executive Officer, and member of Abu Dhabi's Supreme Petroleum Council and Shashi Shanker, Chairman, ONGC Group of companies.
"Our strategic partnership with ONGC, and the other members of the consortium, marks a new chapter in the strategic and economic relationship between the UAE and India.
"This mutually beneficial partnership will help India meet its growing demand for energy and refined products, create opportunities for ADNOC to increase its market share in a key growth market, and build a solid foundation as ADNOC explores potential international investments, particularly focused on downstream opportunities," said Al Jaber, who is also Minister of State in the UAE.
"This agreement demonstrates the confidence of the international market in ADNOC's long-term production targets and ADNOC's strategy to maximise economic value and recovery from its offshore oil and gas resources. This is an attractive and strategic agreement for both parties that will deliver competitive returns and long term growth opportunities."
The Indian consortium is made up of ONGC's wholly-owned subsidiary ONGC Videsh, which has stakes in 39 oil and gas projects, in 18 countries; the Indian Oil Corporation, India's largest commercial enterprise, encompassing the entire hydrocarbon value chain.