Adnoc wants to rival oil majors as it expands in refining, gas

The Adnoc building in Abu Dhabi. The UAE-based oil company wants to expand its gas operations. (Shutterstock)
Updated 14 November 2018
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Adnoc wants to rival oil majors as it expands in refining, gas

  • Adnoc announced two gas deals with France’s Total and Italy’s Eni this week
  • Adnoc aims to reach 1 billion cubic feet per day of unconventional gas production before 2030

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (Adnoc) will remain wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi government and has no plan to go public, but the firm aspires to compete with Big Oil by expanding in refining and gas, Adnoc’s CEO told Reuters.
Adnoc, which announced two gas deals with France’s Total and Italy’s Eni this week, will strike more agreements in that sector and seek investment opportunities abroad in liquefied natural gas (LNG), Sultan Al-Jaber said.
“Adnoc will continue to be wholly owned by one and only one shareholder, and that is the Abu Dhabi government,” Al-Jaber said.
But the company will continue to “unlock the potential” of its other subsidiaries and assets as it works to gain access to new markets abroad and expand its share in oil and gas, he said.
“There will be more initiative (gas) plans,” Al-Jaber said in an interview in Abu Dhabi. “We are not going to expand beyond our borders in upstream. We don’t need to. We have access to vast, vast oil and gas reserves,” he said.
“Our expansion ... is going to be in downstream, whether refining or petrochemicals,” he added.
On Sunday, Adnoc said it had signed an agreement with Total, granting the French company a 40 percent stake in the Ruwais Diyab unconventional gas concession.

 

Adnoc aims to reach 1 billion cubic feet per day of unconventional gas production before 2030.
“This is untapped. No one is doing this at this scale in this region,” he said of the tight gas project with Total.
On Tuesday Adnoc signed a deal with Eni, awarding the Italian company a 25 percent stake in an offshore ultra-sour gas project.
A day earlier the Abu Dhabi producer also signed a framework agreement with national energy company Saudi Aramco to explore investment opportunities in natural gas and LNG.
As the diplomatic alliance between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi grows closer, cooperation between the two state-run firms is also increasing. The two companies are to invest jointly in an oil refinery and petrochemicals complex in India.
Aramco and Adnoc working together is “a powerhouse,” Al-Jaber said. “We are going to be soon looking and exploring LNG business opportunities together with Aramco,” he said.
Adnoc, the top national energy company of the UAE, a key member of OPEC, produces about 3 million barrels of oil and 10.5 billion cubic feet of raw gas a day.
Last week, it announced plans to increase its oil production capacity to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of 2020 and 5 million bpd by 2030 after unveiling new oil and gas finds.
The UAE wants to achieve gas self-sufficiency and possibly become a net gas exporter.
The UAE holds the seventh-largest proven reserves of natural gas in the world, at slightly more than 215 trillion cubic feet, according to the US Department of Energy.
Despite that, the UAE became a net gas importer in 2008 due to growing demand for power and as it needed gas to reinject into its oilfields to enhance crude production. The UAE has been importing gas from Qatar via the Dolphin Gas pipeline.
Adnoc, founded in 1971, has undergone major change since Al-Jaber’s appointment in 2016, part of wider economic reforms led by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.
Al-Jaber has embarked on privatizing its services businesses, ventured into oil trading and expanded partnerships with strategic investors. Adnoc sold
10 percent of fuel retail unit Adnoc Distribution in an initial public offering last year.
Adnoc needs to accept that business as usual will no longer allow the company to excel, Al-Jaber said.
“We want Adnoc ... to operate like an international oil company,” he said. “This is how I view a progressive Adnoc.”

FASTFACTS

40% – On Sunday, Adnoc said that it had signed an agreement with Total, granting the French company a 40 percent stake in the Ruwais Diyab unconventional gas concession.


Amazon workers strike as ‘Prime’ shopping frenzy hits

Updated 16 July 2019
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Amazon workers strike as ‘Prime’ shopping frenzy hits

  • The protesters waves signs with messages along the lines of “We’re human, not robots”
  • The strike was part of an ongoing effort to pressure the company on issues including job safety, equal opportunity in the workplace, and concrete action on issues including climate change

SAN FRANCISCO: Amazon workers walked out of a main distribution center in Minnesota on Monday, protesting for improved working conditions during the e-commerce titan’s major “Prime” shopping event.
Amazon workers picketed outside the facility, briefly delaying a few trucks and waving signs with messages along the lines of “We’re human, not robots.”
“We know Prime Day is a big day for Amazon, so we hope this strike will help executives understand how serious we are about wanting real change that will uplift the workers in Amazon’s warehouses,” striker Safiyo Mohamed said in a release.
“We create a lot of wealth for Amazon, but they aren’t treating us with the respect and dignity that we deserve.”
Organizers did not disclose the number of strikers, who said employees picketed for about an hour in intense heat before cutting the protest short due to the onset of heavy rain.
The strike was part of an ongoing effort to pressure the company on issues including job safety, equal opportunity in the workplace, and concrete action on issues including climate change, according to community organization Awood Center.
US Democratic presidential contenders Kamila Harris and Bernie Sanders were among those who expressed support for the strikers on Twitter.
“I stand in solidarity with the courageous Amazon workers engaging in a work stoppage against unconscionable working conditions in their warehouses,” Sanders said in a tweet.
“It is not too much to ask that a company owned by the wealthiest person in the world treat its workers with dignity and respect.”
Amazon employees also went on strike at seven locations in Germany, demanding better wages as the US online retail giant launched its two-day global shopping discount extravaganza called Prime Day.
Amazon had said in advance that the strike would not affect deliveries to customers.
Amazon has consistently defended work conditions, contending it is a leader when it comes to paying workers at least $15 hourly and providing benefits.
The company last week announced plans to offer job training to around one-third of its US workforce to help them gain skills to adapt to new technologies.
Amazon has been hustling to offer one-day deliver on a wider array of products as a perk for paying $119 annually to be a member of its “Prime” service, which includes streaming films and television shows.
The work action came on the opening day of a major “Prime” shopping event started in 2015.
Now in 17 countries, the event will span Monday and Tuesday, highlighted by a pre-recorded Taylor Swift video concert and promotions across a range of products and services from the e-commerce leader.
Prime Day sales for Amazon are expected to hit $5 billion this year, up from $3.2 billion in 2018, which at the time represented its biggest ever global shopping event, JP Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth says in a research note.