The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) awarded the exploration rights for Abu Dhabi Onshore Block 4 to Japan's Inpex Corporation for a term of 35 years, the company announced Sunday.
According to ADNOC's statement, Inpex will hold a 100 percent stake in the exploration phase, investing up to AED 646 million (US$176 million), including a participation fee, to explore for and appraise oil and gas opportunities in the block that covers an onshore area of 6,116 square kilometers, from the city of Abu Dhabi to the boundary with the Emirate of Dubai.
A wholly-owned Inpex subsidiary, JODCO Exploration Limited, will hold and manage the interest in the concession on behalf of Inpex.
According to the press release, there are two existing undeveloped oil and gas fields in the new concession area, Ramhan and Hudairiat. Index will appraise both areas, particularly targeting the geological formations in which they have rich 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," the statement read.
According to the press release, following exploration activities and appraisal of the existing discoveries, Inpex will have the opportunity to develop and produce any commercial discoveries. ADNOC has the option to hold a 60 percent stake in the production phase of the concession.
In addition to drilling wells to appraise existing discoveries, the exploration phase will see Inpex leverage and contribute financially and technically to ADNOC’s mega seismic survey, which is already acquiring seismic data onshore and offshore within the block area.
"The survey is deploying industry-leading technologies to capture high-resolution 3D images of the complex geology up to 25,000 feet below the surface and will be used to identify potential hydrocarbon reservoirs," ADNOC said.
According to the statement, following the recent award of Offshore Block 1, Offshore Block 2 and Onshore Block 3 concessions, Onshore Block 4 is the latest block awarded to an international bidder of the geographical areas that were offered for commercial bidding by ADNOC in April 2018.
"Studies suggest Abu Dhabi's exploration blocks hold multiple billion barrels of oil and multiple trillion cubic feet of natural gas," it said, adding the United Arab Emirates provides Japan with 25 percent of its crude oil imports.
By Hale Turkes