Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Abu Dhabi’s National Petroleum Targets Nigeria, Libya Expansion


By Ayesha Daya

April 19 (Bloomberg) -- National Petroleum Construction Co., an Abu Dhabi government-controlled oil-services company, is studying plans to expand into Nigeria, Libya and Kazakhstan, Chief Executive Officer Aqeel Madhi said.

“Our traditional region is the Gulf and India,” Madhi told reporters late yesterday in Abu Dhabi. “The board is encouraging us to look beyond our traditional areas.”

National Petroleum is the latest of Abu Dhabi’s state-run companies to consider expansion as the city increases its presence abroad. Mubadala Development Co. and International Petroleum Investment Co. have spent the oil-rich emirate’s energy revenue on assets overseas ranging from stakes in General Electric Co. to shares in exploration projects and refineries.

National Petroleum’s executives have made trips to Nigeria in the past six months and are examining joint ventures with local companies, as well as a permanent construction yard in the country to serve West Africa, Madhi said.

Libya’s Oil Ministry has invited National Petroleum to start a business there, while Kazakhstan is attracting “lots of companies,” Madhi said.

Elsewhere, National Petroleum is bidding for a $200 million subsea-pipeline project offered by India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp., and a water-injection contract from Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Co., a unit of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., or Adnoc.

This year, National Petroleum won two contracts from Adnoc’s Abu Dhabi Co. for Onshore Oil Operations, which plans to increase crude production to 1.8 million barrels a day in 2017 from 1.4 million. A $560 million contract for work at the Qusawira oilfield will boost output by 30,000 barrels a day by 2013, and a $683 million contract for the Bab field will add 80,000 barrels a day, also by 2013.

Ownership Structure

General Holding Corp., a company owned by the Abu Dhabi government, holds 70 percent of National Petroleum, while Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Co. has 30 percent. General Holding is chaired by Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who was appointed this month as managing director of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds.

Abu Dhabi holds most of the oil and gas reserves in the United Arab Emirates, the fourth-largest member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The U.A.E. produced 2.3 million barrels of oil a day last month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

--Editors: Amanda Jordan, Rob Verdonck

To contact the reporter on this story: Ayesha Daya in Dubai at adaya1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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