Oil giant, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has awarded the exploration rights of Abu Dhabi Onshore Block 4 to Japan’s Inpex Corporation, further expanding on decades of the duo’s exploration partnership.
The deal allows Inpex's subsidiary Jodco Exploration Limited to explore and appraise oil and gas reserves in a stretch of land covering an area of 6116 square kilometers between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. As per the agreement, Inpex will reportedly invest $176 million, including a participation fee as well.
If there are any energy reserves, Inpex holds the right to produce any commercial discoveries while ADNOC has an option to own 60% stake in the production phase of the concession.
Inpex will also be contributing financially and technically to ADNOC’s mega seismic survey that is used to identify potential reserves within the region. Previous studies have suggested that Abu Dhabi’s exploration blocks hold multiple billion barrels of oil and multiple trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
Exploration and production from these reserves help Abu Dhabi feed the need for energy across the world while using the technology developed by these international oil and gas firms.
There are two existing undeveloped oil and gas fields in the new concession area, Ramhan and Hudairiat, which both will be appraised by Inpex who will be particularly targeting the geological formations in which they have extensive experience through other Abu Dhabi concessions. The block’s proximity to the onshore oil producing fields of Al Dabb’iya and Rumaitha as well as the offshore field of Umm Al Dalkh, suggests it has very promising potential.
Inpex first started working in the region, through JODCO, in 1973 with its participation in Abu Dhabi’s Umm Shaif and the Lower Zakum fields. JODCO then joined in the development of three other offshore oil fields, the Upper Zakum field in 1977, Umm Al Dalkh in 1978 and Satah in 1980. In 2015, Inpex was awarded a 5% interest in the Abu Dhabi Onshore Concession. Furthermore, in 2018, Inpex was awarded a 10% interest in the new Lower Zakum offshore concession and, at the same time, also extended its 40% stake in Satah and increased its stake in Umm Al Dalkh from 12% to 40%.