UAE’s main state oil com­pany eyes part­ner­ships, share float

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

DUBAI: The United Arab Emi­rates’ main state oil com­pany said yes­ter­day it is seek­ing to cre­ate joint ven­tures with in­ter­na­tional in­vestors and is con­sid­er­ing float­ing shares in some of its busi­nesses in an ef­fort to raise bil­lions of dol­lars and cre­ate more jobs lo­cally. The Abu Dhabi Na­tional Oil Co., or AD­NOC, said it is con­sid­er­ing an ini­tial public of­fer­ing for mi­nor­ity stakes in some re­lated ser­vices busi­nesses, though it ruled out for now float­ing shares in the over­all com­pany, which will re­main owned by the Abu Dhabi gov­ern­ment.

The com­pany said other plans in­clude cre­at­ing a re­gional drilling com­pany, a new “en­ergy in­fra­struc­ture ven­ture” that bun­dles se­lect as­sets, and fur­ther open­ing up its re­fin­ery and petro­chem­i­cal op­er­a­tions to out­side in­vestors. UAE Min­is­ter of State and AD­NOC Group CEO Sul­tan Ahmed Al Jaber said the moves aim to gen­er­ate higher rev­enues and cre­ate more jobs for Emi­ratis. In a state­ment, the com­pany also stressed these ini­tia­tives “will bring sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits to the UAE and its cit­i­zens.”

‘Ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties’

“Most im­por­tantly, it will cre­ate new, high-skilled jobs and at­trac­tive ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties,” it said. Abu Dhabi holds the bulk of the oil wealth in the seven-state Emi­rates fed­er­a­tion, one of OPEC’s largest crude pro­duc­ers. The com­pany pro­duces around 3 mil­lion bar­rels of oil per day and 9.8 bil­lion cu­bic feet of gas per day.

A com­pany press re­lease yes­ter­day sad global en­ergy de­mand is shift­ing to the East, and that this change means a rapid in­crease in de­mand for prod­ucts de­rived from hy­dro­car­bons - petro­chem­i­cals, plas­tics and poly­mers. In Oc­to­ber, it an­nounced plans to com­bine two ma­jor off­shore di­vi­sions to stream­line its op­er­a­tions amid a slump in oil prices.

The drop in oil en­ergy prices since mid-2014 in­creased pres­sure on the UAE to find new ways to raise non-oil rev­enue, such as lift­ing some petrol sub­si­dies and in­tro­duc­ing value-added tax next year. In the UAE and other Arab Gulf coun­tries, cit­i­zens pre­fer to work for the gov­ern­ment, where wages and perks are gen­er­ous. In re­cent years, how­ever, Gulf gov­ern­ments curbed public sec­tor hir­ing in the face of tighter bud­gets as jobs across the re­gion’s oil and gas sec­tor were also slashed.

AD­NOC’s plans fol­low a de­ci­sion by Saudi Aramco, the state oil com­pany of neigh­bor­ing Saudi Ara­bia, to sell shares for the first time for a mi­nor­ity stake in its busi­ness. That IPO isn’t ex­pected to hap­pen be­fore next year at the ear­li­est and is aimed at gen­er­at­ing greater rev­enue for the gov­ern­ment’s public in­vest­ment fund. —AP

FU­JAIRAH: In this Sept 21, 2016 file photo, an oil tanker ap­proaches the new Jetty dur­ing the launch of a $650 mil­lion oil fa­cil­ity. —AP

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