Abu Dhabi reveals blockchain plan as it strikes oil, gas concession deals

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company said Sunday it is collaborating with IBM over a Blockchain-based system for oil and gas production transactions. (ADNOC)
Updated 10 December 2018
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Abu Dhabi reveals blockchain plan as it strikes oil, gas concession deals

LONDON: Abu Dhabi on Sunday struck two oil and gas concession deals, as well as announcing plans to use blockchain technology in the field of energy.
The emirate’s state fund Mubadala bought a 20 percent stake in the Nour gas field off the coast of Egypt from Italian energy company Eni, Reuters reported.
Egypt’s petroleum ministry also said that energy giant BP will buy a 25 percent stake in the concession from Eni, it was reported.
In a separate deal, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) said that it had awarded a subsidiary of China ZhenHua a 4 percent stake in its onshore oil concession, previously held by the CEFC China Energy Company.
“With China ZhenHua Oil, we will pursue mutually beneficial cooperation, share business growth opportunities and work together as we deliver on our 2030 smart growth strategy,” Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, UAE minister of state and ADNOC Group CEO, said in a statement.
China ZhenHua Oil is 100 percent indirectly owned by the Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, a Chinese-government agency, the statement added. It operates 11 oil and gas upstream projects in six countries, with gross production of close to 10 million metric tons per year.
ADNOC also said on Sunday that it is collaborating with IBM to pilot a blockchain-based automated system to integrate oil and gas production transactions.
“The groundbreaking system provides a secure platform for the tracking, validating and execution of transactions at every stage, from production well to the end customer,” it said in a statement.
According to ADNOC, using blockchain technology will reduce the time it takes to execute transactions between its operating companies and “significantly” increase operational efficiency.


Abu Dhabi aims to lure start-ups with investment in new technology hub

Updated 11 min 11 sec ago
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Abu Dhabi aims to lure start-ups with investment in new technology hub

  • The initiative will help Abu Dhabi reduce reliance on oil
  • Mubadala hopes to attract Chinese and Indian companies

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi will commit up to $272 million to support technology start-ups, it said on Sunday, in a dedicated hub as part of efforts to diversify its economy.

US tech giant Microsoft will be a strategic partner, providing technology and cloud services to the businesses that join the hub as the capital of the United Arab Emirates continues its push to reduce reliance on oil revenue.
Abu Dhabi derives about 50 percent of its real gross domestic product and about 90 percent of central government revenue from the hydrocarbon sector, according to ratings agency S&P.
The emirate launched a $13.6 billion stimulus fund, Ghadan 21, in September last year to accelerate economic growth. Ghadan means tomorrow in Arabic. The new initiative, named Hub 71, is linked to Ghadan will also involve the launch of a $136 million fund to invest in start-ups, said Ibrahim Ajami, head of Mubadala Ventures, the technology arm of Mubadala Investment Co.
The goal is to have 100 companies over the next three to five years, Ajami said. “The market opportunities in this region are immense,” he added.
Mubadala, with assets of $225 billion and a big investor in tech companies, will act as the driver of the hub, located in the emirate’s financial district.
Softbank will be active in the hub and support the expansion of companies in which it has invested, Ajami said, adding that Mubadala is also aiming to attract Chinese and Indian companies, among others.
Mubadala which has committed $15 billion to the Softbank Vision Fund, plans to launch a $400 million fund to invest in leading European technology companies.
Incentives mapped out by the government include housing, office space and health insurance as part of the $272 million commitment, Ajami said.
Abu Dhabi will also announce a new research and development initiative on Monday linked to the Ghadan 21 plan, according to an invitation sent to journalists.