Energy Security Intelligence Research

ESIR

UAE

Abu Dhabi's multi-billion dollar drive to push up oil production took another step forward in January 2015, when Total was awarded the first foreign stake in a new concession covering more than half of the emirate's oil reserves and many of its most-prized oilfields.

The move comes after months of speculations over who would be invited to participate, following the expiry of the previous 75-year oil concession in January 2014. The allocation of further stakes is likely to follow in coming years. The French major has been awarded a 10% stake in a new 40-year concession, known as the Abu-Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operation (Adco), which replaces the old concession of the same name, in which Total, Shell, ExxonMobil and BP each held 9.5% stakes, while state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) held 60% and Partex 2%.

Since then Adnoc has held 100% of the concession, while the emirate's Supreme Petroleum Council decided which firms it would enlist to help add to production in coming years.

ONES TO WATCH
MENA
: Dana Gas ruling in London likely to be first of many

Sectors: oil and gas; Islamic finance
Key Risks: Non-payment; delayed payment; contract frustration

On 17 November 2017, the High Court in London ruled in favour of creditors against the United Arab Emirates oil and gas company Dana Gas in a case disputing repayments of a US$700m bond. Dana Gas claims it is not obliged to repay the mudarabah sukuk, issued in 2013 as part of a US$850m package which was restructuring an existing US$1bln debt. In courts in the UK and UAE, Dana Gas has claimed that the Islamic component of the 2013 financing agreement signed under English law was now invalid due to changes in practises regarding mudarabah sukuk. A separate ruling is due from the Federal Court of First Instance in Sharjah, UAE, on 25 December 2017 which Dana Gas refused to cancel under order from the UK High Court. Dana Gas has indicated it will appeal the High Court ruling, and could do so as early as the first week of December 2017.